Australia in Space Magazine, Issue 6, 2023

Page 20

South of the Equator: The unique benefits of launching from an Australian equatorial spaceport Smallsat's Large Strides

Six essential satellite services that critical infrastructures depend on

The United States of Australia goes global: A collaborative approach to the Australian space domain - Part II

ISSUE #6 | 2023

Luxembourg space agency eyes bridging role in USChina space relations

Unlocking the potential of space: Spire's vision and approach after a decade of innovation

Unveiling extraterrestrial mysteries: Juice’s journey to Jupiter and beyond.

Space Camp Graduation 2023 Endeavour scholarship program


ANYWHERE. As a key partner of the Australian Space Agency (ASA), and with the support of the Western Australian Government, Fugro is proud to be part of the future of the Australian exploration and remote operations industry. Fugro will design, build and operate the Australian Space Automation, Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Control Complex (SpAARC). To find out more
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All material appearing in Australian in Space Magazine is copyright. Reproduction in whole or part is not permitted without permission in writing from the publisher. The views of contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher. Professional advice should be sought before applying the information to particular circumstances.

4 | Australia in Space Magazine Contents South of the Equator: The unique benefits of launching from an Australian equatorial spaceport. 6 Milo space academy to launch in Australia 12 Arose awarded stage 1 grant to design lunar rover for moon mission 14 6 essential satellite services that critical infrastructures depend on 16 The United States of Australia goes global 18 CubeSatPlus 2023: Paving the way for small-sat technology advancements in Australia 22 Removing space junk: The missing piece of the puzzle 26 The surge in activity in Low Earth Orbit is generating legal and governance challenges 30 UK Space Agency says reducing space debris is a priority 34 Smallsat's large strides 36 The United Kingdom wants to be a space insurance hub 38 Luxembourg space agency eyes bridging role in US-China space relations 40 Calls for a new way of thinking about the global space race 42 Unlocking the potential of space: Spire's vision and approach after a decade of innovation 44 Unveiling extraterrestrial mysteries: Juice’s journey to Jupiter and beyond. 48 Space Camp Graduation 2023 Endeavour scholarship program 50 Contents 14 16 26 34 23-24 OCTOBER 2023, PAN PACIFIC HOTEL PERTH, WESTERN AUSTRALIA “Bringing together leaders from across the Indo Pacific and beyond for opportunities in crossDr Jordan Plotnek Rozaine Wijekularatne Rory Holmes Dr Rebecca Connolly Dr Eleanor Sansom EuroConsult Spire Equatorial Launch Australia AROSE Kallman Worldwide CONTRIBUTORS | ORGANISATIONS English and U.S spelling may be adopted subject to print location and author preference
SPACE CHANNELS Director & Executive Editor
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- Federal Minister for Industry and Science, Hon Ed Husic MP, 27 October 2022


and the United States are to increase space integration and cooperation in existing operations and exercises, according to a statement released by both countries following the recent AUSMIN consultations in Brisbane.

Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong and Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Defence Richard Marles met with their US counterparts Secretary of State Antony Blinkin and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin on July 28 and 29 and declared Enhanced Space Cooperation as a new Force Posture Initiative to enable closer cooperation in this “critical operational domain.”

Coincidentally, this follows the Australian Government axing the AUD1.2 billion National Space Mission for Earth Observation (NSMEO) program that would have seen four domestic satellites put into space from 2028 to boost Australia’s sovereign space capability and improve access to earth observation data.

The NSMEO satellites would have provided Australia with its sovereign space assets capable of delivering a broad range of data instead of relying on foreign-owned satellites to do so, a situation the Australian Academy of Science says creates an unacceptable sovereign risk. Separately, Frontier SI research from 2021 found earth observation data contributes over AUD$5 billion annually to the Australian economy.

The current Minister for Science and Innovation, Ed Husic, said the axing was “due to budgetary reasons” and follows the decision not to provide funding to assist in developing spaceport and rocket facilities in Australia.

Professor Andrew Dempster, Director of the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research, UNSW Sydney commenting on the decision at a space sector conference at the University of NSW in Sydney said “I think the time has come for us, once again, to really start applying ourselves as a sector to educating the government. We managed to do that slowly when the Liberals were in power. Now that Labour is in power, we're going to have to do it all again, because they seem not to get it.”

The Australian Government is however, providing a comparatively small sum of $369 million over four years under the Trailblazer Universities Program to build new research capabilities, drive commercialisation outcomes and invest in new industry engagement opportunities. Of the six Trailblazer Universities Programs awarded, two include a strong space industry focus. Each Trailblazer University will receive $50 million, which will be matched by university and industry partners.

In this issue as part of our cover feature and coverage of the Space Sustainability Summit in New York, including Australia in Space TV interviews with the Secure World Foundation’s Dr Peter Martinez and Dr Brian Weeden, Dr Rebecca Connolly writes on the significant rise in LEO space assets and the corresponding legal and governance challenges

relating to space debris, space traffic management, the dual-use of satellite technology for commercial and military purposes and the impacts on our dark and quiet skies.

The UK Space Agency’s new Director of Missions and Capability for Discovery and Sustainability Julie Black, speaking at the Summit, confirmed one of her key roles is to bring the agency’s commitment to space sustainability and management of debris into a sharper focus.

The US Space Command Deputy Director, Lt. Gen. John E. Shaw used the Summit to accuse China of a lack of space transparency, stating the transparency issue and silence from China's space agency were major concerns. With US-China space relations at a nadir, China is turning to a range of mid-tier international space agencies, like the Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA). Mathias Link, the director of the LSA said even with “difficult" bilateral relationships between certain countries, for purely practical reasons, Luxembourg would continue to have conversations and cooperate with China’s space sector and sees itself as a potential bridge between the United States and China, as the space agencies barely speak to each other.

And as a federated national system of government in Australia, Dharshun Sridharan and Nipuni Silva provide Part 2 in mapping out Australia’s national and state space industry activities, which with Part 1 in the previous edition, provides an important overview for what is aptly titled the ‘United States of Australia’.

Also in this edition, Dr Eleanor Sansom, Planetary Scientist with Curtin University contributes a fascinating article on the European Space Agency’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (Juice), launched in April 2023 on an eight-year voyage to unravel some of the mysteries of Jupiter and its fascinating moons. Of special interest, Juice will reach Jupiter using as little power as possible, performing multiple gravity assist manoeuvres, including a solar system first: a binary gravity assist with both our Moon and Earth, arriving at Jupiter in 2031. So stay tuned!

Finally, we publish this edition with a warm invitation to our inaugural Indo-Pacific Space and Earth Conference, 23 – 24 October in Perth for what is shaping up to be a leading industry showcase on the space and cross-sector industry events calendar. Please join us and enjoy over seventy international and national speakers covering the domains of space and cross sector industries such as mining, agriculture, autonomous systems and more, with government and civil industry representatives from Australia, USA, UK, Singapore, Japan, India, Malaysia and more.

As always, we cover the full diversity of the Australian and international space industry and there is so much more to touch on, including live, embedded content in this digital edition. Enjoy the reading, watching and listening.

Australia in Space Magazine | 5
"Space technologies support critical services that improve national wellbeing and economic prosperity”
Editor's Desk

South of the Equator: The unique benefits of launching from an Australian equatorial spaceport.

More than 50 launches a year. That’s the goal for Equatorial Launch Australia’s spaceport in the Northern Territory. The Arnhem Space Centre (ASC), as the spaceport is known, is strategically located at the top of Australia in East Arnhem Land, about 35km from the town of Nhulunbuy. The ASC is the world’s leading multi-user commercial spaceport, and the only one to have successfully launched into space, three times. The location – on lands leased from traditional owners represented by the Gumatj Corporation – is 12o South of the equator. This was no accident. Spaceports located within +/- 15o of the equator provide a unique opportunity for rocket companies. Launching East from these locations allow rockets to be effectively launched with the positive benefit of the Earth’s rotational velocity – into the spin of the Earth.

Despite the obvious benefits for space launches, the location in the NT provides some challenges, however, ELA has taken an approach of rigorously evaluating each challenge and devising and implementing comprehensive solutions to turn those challenges into positives and offer its clients a compelling case for coming down under to launch to space. The logistics of getting rockets and

sensitive high value payloads to the outback is one such challenge. “We have done an enormous amount of work and partnered with the very best sea freight, logistics and air freight companies in the world to come up with delivery systems that will be the envy of spaceports globally” said General Manager Operations and Launch, Ben Tett. “The other challenge we really focus on is maximising the mission reliability and mission assurance aspect for each client. One element of this requires us to be a bit of a ‘Swiss army knife’ for each customer by designing advanced and flexible launch systems that can be adapted to the particular demands and specifications of each client.”

Discussing the mission benefits of launching from an equatorial spaceport, Mission & Orbit Specialist, Stephanie Marsh, from ELA’s Launch Operations Team said “the surface of the Earth is travelling faster at the equator than at any other point on the globe - 460m/s- due to the rotational motion of the planet. As a result, rockets launched from sites near the equator receive an additional natural boost to get into orbit, reducing the amount and cost of fuel needed, and thereby increasing payload capacity,” she said. “At a 12o South latitude, the ASC greatly benefits from this effect of

6 | Australia in Space Magazine

Earth's rotation, and this advantage – achievable because of our spaceport’s location – can be leveraged by rocket companies looking to capitalise on launch efficiencies.”

Orbit options from the Arnhem Space Centre – a unique feature of the ASC’s location is the ability to efficiently access equatorial orbits (altitudes indicative only).

ELA’s Launch Operations Team is also working on other launch efficiencies for its customers. Ben adds that there are a number of services that ELA will be offering customers considering launching from the ASC, that set it apart from other launch sites around the world. In addition to a unique service offering and suite of value-added services and customised facilities which are provided to launchers and designed to make rocket companies lives easier, ELA has complete control over the operation of the ASC range and launch schedule. “The ASC is a commercially controlled range, as opposed to one that is controlled by governments,” said Ben. “This feature in itself, allows for the ability to control the launch schedule and required airspace restricted areas such that if weather conditions are looking poor for a scheduled launch date and everything is ready for launch, the launch can go ahead early,” he said. “This

is what occurred for the third launch we did with NASA in mid-2022 which was unique for them because it meant that instead of risking a week of scrubs (cancelled launches) due to weather, we were able to be flexible to ensure the launch occurred ahead of plan, which almost never happens in space launch.”

Other orbit options from the ASC

Launch scheduling is not the only flexible option available to customers using ELA’s Arnhem Space Centre. The spaceport also offers a number of orbit capability options.

Low-mid inclination orbits between 20 to 40o inclinations (or tilt of the orbit from the reference plane of the equator) are also feasible from the ASC. The extra analysis ELA conducts during the Australian Launch Permit process for each rocket ensures that these inclinations are planned and conducted safely and in accordance with risk hazard analysis regulations in the Australian Flight Safety Code.

The ASC can also provide access to polar orbits subject to risk analysis and mission objectives. Polar orbits pass over (or nearly over) the poles of the Earth, with deviations of up to 30 degrees still classed as polar orbits. Like other international space ports such as Vandenberg on the US West Coast, for southern launches from ASC a small ‘dogleg’ manoeuvre is required to avoid Groote Eylandt but the launch then generally has a clear pathway over the very low populated areas of interior Australia.

Sun-Synchronous Orbits

Sun-Synchronous Orbits (SSOs) are a special type of polar Low Earth Orbit (LEO) sought after for the global coverage and consistent positioning that they provide in relation to the movement of the sun. To achieve and sustain an SSO, the nodal precession rate of the orbit must be equal to the Earth's mean motion. “This requires launching to very specific inclinations,” said Stephanie. “Generally, between 97 Cont next page >>

AUSTRALIA IN SPACE Australia in Space Magazine | 7
Orbit options from the Arnhem Space Centre – a unique feature of the ASC’s location is the ability to efficiently access equatorial orbits (altitudes indicative only).

and 98 degrees, as dependent on the altitude to which the rocket is launching.”

Launching over land – a unique opportunity in Australia

Australia presents the unique opportunity for launching over land, as its deserts form the largest arid region in the southern hemisphere with some of the lowest recorded population densities in the world. With population densities as low as one person per 100-200km2, launching over land becomes a feasible alternative in Australia to launching exclusively over ocean, which is being done by the majority of other launch sites in the world. “This ability to access low, mid and high inclination orbits is of great benefit for international clients seeking primary or secondary launch locations that can provide this range of orbits, supporting them in servicing a wider range of payload clients,” said Ben.

Since the NASA launches in mid-2022, the Arnhem Space Centre has been undergoing a redevelopment to prepare for a higher launch cadence and provide more dedicated customer facilities. ‘Phase 2 is progressing well and is being rolled out since completing the NASA launches with expected completion by mid-2025,’ said Ben. ‘The inclusion of ITAR compliant, airconditioned and humidity controlled horizontal rocket and payload integration facilities with ISO 8 clean rooms; customisable launch pad mounting configurations, and enhanced mission centres utilising innovative Epsilon3 software for complex engineering, tracking and testing are all examples of lengths we are going to on our mission to be the pre-eminent multiuser commercial space launch company, offering worldclass launch services.

AUSTRALIA IN SPACE 8 | Australia in Space Magazine
"This ability to access low, mid and high inclination orbits is of great benefit for international clients seeking primary or secondary launch locations that can provide this range of orbits, supporting them in servicing a wider range of payload clients,”
Artist impression of a standard launch pad located within one of the seven Space Launch Complexes at the Arnhem Space Centre.

Equatorial Launch Australia

Australia’s spaceport at 12° South

ELA owns and operates the Arnhem Space Centre. Offering world-class launch services to support testing, launch and recovery of payloads for orbital and suborbital missions.

We work with you to devise a custom, comprehensive and compelling solution that fits your needs. Whether you’re testing or launching, we have the expertise to ensure your mission is a success.

Visit to find out how you can launch with us.


Australia in Space Magazine

Interview with Professor Lisa Harvey-Smith

Australian Government’s Women in STEM Ambassador and a Professor of Practice at the University of New South Wales

The Australian Government’s 2023 STEM Equity Monitor shows that Australia’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) workforce is growing, but women’s representation is still far below parity.

The STEM Equity Monitor collects and standardises data from a range of sources and puts them in a single report on the current state of STEM gender equity in Australia. The 2023 report provides insights into whether efforts to progress equity in STEM are working, and where future efforts are best focused.

Overall, Australia’s STEM-qualified workforce has grown by approximately 300,000 people in the past decade. About one third of this growth has been driven by women. However, women still only represent 15% of people working in STEM-qualified occupations in 2022.

The number of students enrolling in STEM subjects in their final year of school has increased, and nearly reached gender parity. The data are promising and highlight an opportunity to engage students much earlier in their schooling journey in STEM through programs like Future You, an educational program developed and led by the Australian Government’s Women in STEM Ambassador.

SCAN HERE For more of the latest news and interviews in space sector! or head to 10 | Australia in Space Magazine


“Bringing together leaders from across the Indo Pacific and beyond for opportunities in cross-sector technology and innovation”

Milo space academy to launch in Australia

Remote operations collaborator AROSE has formed a partnership with US-based MILO Space Science Institute to bring its 12-week online course to Australia for the first time.

The MILO Mission Academy is designed for students from TAFE and universities, as well as early career professionals. Graduates will be able to take the skills they acquire in the Mission Academy and apply them across multiple industries throughout their careers, not just in the Space sector.

The MILO Institute is a research collaborative led by Arizona State University (ASU). The MILO Mission Academy, delivered by ASU’s School of Earth and Space Exploration, provides unique, hands-on learning and insight into the dynamic world of Space.

Participants learn mission procedures and protocols from industry professionals as they collaborate with fellow team members to complete mission-related projects. Students are taught how to work as a team, apply problem-solving skills, implement program management methods, and learn the basics of entrepreneurship.

AROSE and The MILO Institute have signed a Memorandum of Understanding which will lead to many young Australian Space enthusiasts completing its specialist online course.

The MILO Institute Executive Director David Thomas said partnering with AROSE would deliver specialist training opportunities for Australian students and early career professionals.

“The AROSE-MILO agreement will help prepare the workforce of tomorrow and grow the Space ecosystem in Australia,” Mr Thomas said. “The skills and experience students acquire through the course are applicable to all industry sectors, not just Space.”

AROSE Program Director Michelle Keegan said the MOU is an exciting first step to bringing the course to Australia.

“The MILO Mission Academy makes Space workforce development accessible to everyone, regardless of their location, background or financial position,” Ms Keegan said. “Many Australian universities do not have a Space program, so this course will allow students to gain training in this growing and increasingly important sector for Australia.

“For those universities that do have a Space program, we hope participating in the MILO Mission Academy will encourage more students to go further into those university programs.”

Ms Keegan said the initiative supports the AROSE mission to grow the Australian talent pipeline for Space exploration and operations and inspire future generations to pursue careers in STEM.

“Importantly, graduates will be able to take the skills they acquire in the MILO Mission Academy and apply them across multiple industries throughout their careers, not exclusively in the Space sector.”

AROSE will seek support from industry to make the course available to participants from across Australia by providing free or low cost access for approved students. It is hoped that up to 1000 places will be available each year in Australia across two semesters.

AROSE board member and Western Australian Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation Deputy Director General Linda Dawson said the AROSE-MILO partnership would further strengthen Australia’s ties to the Space sector in the United States.

“The first Australian to walk on the Moon and even Mars will be somewhere in a classroom today,” Ms Dawson said. “In the future they may undertake the MILO Mission Academy as part of their journey to the stars.”

The MILO Mission Academy is the global arm of NASA’s Lucy Student Pipeline Accelerator and Competency Enabler (L’SPACE) program, currently available to students attending US institutions of higher education. More than 7,000 students from 800 colleges and universities having participated.

For more information and to have your organisation participate in the MILO Mission Academy please contact Michelle Keegan at

About MILO

MILO Space Science Institute is a non-profit research collaborative led by Arizona State University (ASU), with support from Lockheed Martin. MILO makes Space science and exploration accessible to countries around the world that want to increase their knowledge, infrastructure and human capital, and participate more deeply in the growing global Space economy. Collaborative mission models offer an optimal arrangement for Space science and exploration. MILO works with Lockheed Martin to provide mission infrastructure as a service. Workforce Development and Entrepreneurial programs build capacity to support the missions, creating an end-to-end pathway making space accessible.

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Courtesy of AROSE

Interview with Michelle Keegan Program Director, AROSE (Australia Remote Operations in Space and Earth)

The AROSE consortium has been chosen for Stage 1 of the flagship Trailblazer mission. NASA has asked Australia, through the Australian Space Agency, to provide a Lunar Foundation Services Rover for a future mission. This is Trailblazer.

The Trailblazer mission requires the rover to be operated remotely to collect lunar soil and deliver it to NASA’s processing facility on the Moon to extract oxygen. This is a critical step in supporting a sustainable human presence on the Moon and Mars.

We speak to AROSE Program Director Michelle Keegan. Michelle who has over 20 years of mining industry experience, and joins AROSE from her previous position as Program Director Technology Development, and leader of the Next Generation Mine Innovation Program, at South 32.

more of the latest news and interviews in space sector! or head to
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From digital twins of the human body to remote medical access for remote communities, the range of possibilities in space medicine is presented.

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Arose awarded stage 1 grant to design lunar rover for moon mission

Australia is one step closer to the Moon with the Federal Government’s announcement that the Australian Remote Operations for Space and Earth (AROSE) consortium is one of two successful teams chosen for Stage 1 of the Australian Space Agency’s flagship Trailblazer program.

The Trailblazer program will see Australia design, build, test, and operate an Australian-made lunar foundation services rover for NASA’s return to the surface of the Moon.

NASA has asked Australia to provide the lunar rover due to our world-leading expertise in remote operations and automation technology, developed through our resources industry.

The Trailblazer program requires the rover to be operated remotely to collect lunar soil and deliver it to a NASA-provided processing facility to extract oxygen. This is a critical step to supporting a sustainable human presence on the Moon, Mars and beyond.

AROSE’s Trailblazer Stage 1 consortium is led by two amazing companies:

Fugro, creators of Australia’s Space Automation, AI & Robotics Control Complex (SpAARC); and

Nova Systems, an Australian-owned engineering services and technology solutions company.

Woodside Energy and Rio Tinto are also supporting the AROSE Trailblazer Stage 1 effort by providing knowledge transfer of their terrestrial robotic and automation capabilities. Additional support has been received from the Western Australian Government.

AROSE CEO Leanne Cunnold said: “AROSE was created to help secure Australia’s role in the international space sector, and to drive knowledge from space to ground and ground to space.

“Australia has world-leading expertise in managing remote operations and robotics in complex and hazardous environments, making us an ide al partner for developing critical space technologies.

“AROSE is a partner-driven organisation with a clear vision to attract the best talent and technology to support local and international space missions.

“The ripple effect of projects like Trailblazer and the overall benefits they can bring to all Australians cannot be overestimated. Just as the Apollo mission inspired a generation of aspiring astronauts, Trailblazer has the power

14 | Australia in Space Magazine

to motivate our future space scientists, engineers and tech specialists. They will see Australian smarts, expertise and technologies in action on the Moon, demonstrating Australia’s emerging role in space.”

AROSE Chair David Flanagan said: “Trailblazer provides Australia with a once in a generation opportunity to stimulate our sovereign space industry, create jobs in Australia and support the growth of industries.

“It will provide access to international supply chains, build space technology capability, grow skills, and create interest in STEM and related careers.

“Space technologies and capabilities will increasingly become a critical driver of Australian exports, jobs and economic competitiveness. What we learn in space will bring significant advancements across many sectors including resources, agriculture, health, manufacturing and utilities.”

Fugro Director SpAARC Sam Forbes said: “Collaborating with NASA, the Australian Space Agency, and the AROSE consortium, this is an incredible mission, which will put Australia's first rover on the Moon and demonstrate Australia's capability to play a significant role in the emerging space sector.”

Nova Systems Australia and New Zealand Managing Director Adam Smith said: “For the space industry, this Trailblazer announcement adds further momentum and investment to Australia’s space sector.

“Nova Systems continues to invest in growing space in Australia. We’re excited to deliver our experience in space systems engineering, mission assurance and design expertise to the Moon to Mars initiative. Programs like this help companies like ours retain vital skills and talent

within Australia.”

This project received grant funding from the Australian Government, administered through the Australian Space Agency. Trailblazer Stage 1 provides up to $4 million for two successful applicants to design a foundation services lunar rover, through early mission phases to Preliminary Design Review.

AUSTRALIA IN SPACE Australia in Space Magazine | 15
Bill Nelson and Pam Melroy ( centre ) with the Australian / AROSE Space Contingent Concept render of the Australian-made lunar foundation services rover

6 essential satellite services that critical infrastructures depend on

It is well known that critical infrastructures on Earth rely heavily on space systems to function effectively, however the exact nature of this dependency is less commonly understood. Quantifying this mysterious link is an important step to navigating supply chain risk management for critical infrastructure operators and enabling a mission-focused security and resilience strategy for satellite service providers. With this in mind, let’s dive into the top six satellite capabilities that critical infrastructure sectors need to continue delivering these essential services to society.


Satellite services provide essential communication links for terrestrial critical infrastructures. They enable voice, data, and video transmissions, especially in remote or hardto-reach areas where terrestrial communications may be limited. Satellites support communication networks for various sectors, including emergency services, national defence, transportation, utilities, and public safety. Satellite services also bridge the connectivity gap in areas with limited terrestrial internet infrastructure or for assets on the move, such as trains, trucks, ships, and aircraft.

Positioning, Navigation, and Timing

Many critical infrastructures heavily depend on systems like the Global Positioning System (GPS) for precise positioning, navigation, and timing (PNT) applications. PNT satellites provide accurate location data that is used in sectors such as transportation, emergency response, military, and utility management systems. Continuous access to a single source of time is also vital for critical infrastructures that cover large geographical areas and those whose integrity depends on accurate time stamping. Precise timing requirements are crucial for electric grid synchronisation, telecommunications, and financial systems, with potential implications including economic loss, reduced safety and security, and loss of human life.

Weather Monitoring and Forecasting

Satellite-based weather monitoring systems play a vital role in the protection of terrestrial critical infrastructure. Weather satellites provide real-time and continuous observations of atmospheric conditions, allowing for accurate weather forecasting and emergency preparation. This information is crucial for sectors like aviation,

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agriculture, energy, and disaster management; helping to keep populations safe and life-critical services intact regardless of environmental challenges.

Remote Sensing and Monitoring

Satellites equipped with remote sensing technologies gather data about the Earth's surface, atmosphere, and oceans. This information is valuable for monitoring critical infrastructure components such as pipelines, power transmission lines, dams, and bridges. Satellite remote sensing aids in identifying potential hazards, assessing infrastructure health, and detecting anomalies or environmental changes. It is also heavily relied on in the mining and resources industries to minimise environmental impacts and ensure accurate drilling and digging operations with minimal wastage.

Operational Continuity and Resilience

During natural disasters, cyberattacks, and other emergencies that may degrade critical infrastructure operations, satellite services become indispensable as a fail-safe redundancy measure. Satellites facilitate

temporary communication restoration when terrestrial networks are damaged or overloaded and enable secondary backup channels for remote monitoring and management. They also support search and rescue operations, provide situational awareness through imagery, and help coordinate relief efforts through Earth observation for analysis and planning.

Surveillance and Security

Satellites equipped with imaging capabilities can provide surveillance and security services for critical infrastructure sites and government operations. They assist in monitoring and protecting facilities, borders, coastlines, and other sensitive areas. Satellite imagery can also help to detect unauthorised activities, identify potential threats, and support security personnel in taking appropriate actions, as well as providing real-time intelligence to decision makers. Taking advantage of space for critical infrastructure Society’s dependence on satellites is growing rapidly due to a boom in innovation and awareness of the benefits space systems bring, including opportunities to improve our way of life here on Earth. Satellites enable communication, positioning, timing, monitoring, sensing, and observation to ensure the smooth and continuous operation of essential services across various critical infrastructure sectors. These services have become integral to the continuous functioning, reliability, resilience, and security of terrestrial critical infrastructures and society more broadly. In conjunction with a risk management program, satellite services can enhance the security of terrestrial infrastructure and ensure operational resilience. For satellite service providers it is equally prudent to consider client use cases and provide an adequate level of security assurance for safety-critical applications.

AUSTRALIA IN SPACE Australia in Space Magazine | 17
'Satellites enable communication, positioning, timing, monitoring, sensing, and observation to ensure the smooth and continuous operation of essential services across various critical infrastructure sectors.'

The United States of Australia goes global

Space as a Global Domain

These are just some of the world’s first Astronauts, Cosmonauts or Taikonauts to have represented their respective countries in Space. There are more! But it’s important to note that these names are not mentioned for any specific reason, but rather to highlight the multijurisdictional and multi-cultural affair that is Space.

For the last fifty years, countries around the world have defined their own Space strategies to enable investment for research and development (R&D) to unlock the true value and opportunities from the Space Domain. Interestingly, some countries have gone to extended efforts to further create individual strategies for individual sub-jurisdictions, such as Australia (and its states/territories). Whilst this is not a negative thing, it can often lead to duplication across the Space Supply Chain, some efficient and some not, leading to mis-coordination of the industry and can detract away from a streamlined and united objective for Australia in the Space Domain.

A high-level analysis across global Space Domain participants highlights a slightly differing message, as the concept of sovereignty plays its part. But this dis-united nature is not the purpose of the article, but rather, it is to analyse the commonalities across the Space Domain to emphasise the need for a Global & Interoperable Space Strategy. In this instance, specifically for Australia.

This globalised ideology highlights jurisdictions that may be considered the world’s subject matter experts in a particular capability, to allow Australia to find its place in Space and enable rich participation and leadership. Starting with this viewpoint, can enable a specific jurisdiction to focus on a specific capability, and then, if still warranted, coordinate capability building activities across the Space Supply Chain at a sub-jurisdictional level.

Space Supply Chain: The Hypothesis

The state-by-state hypothesis presented in Part One of this article, had been derived purely by the locations of a specific capability’s Centre of Excellence (CoE). But it does highlight the need to consider other factors and requires a deep review of Australia’s Supply Chain and National Operating Model. Worth emphasising in this review would be the identification of upstream and downstream capabilities beyond the Space Domain. This in itself forms a separate body of work to fully assess the positives and negatives of such an Operating Model shift. It is a body of work that would be warranted in order to move from the innovation or disruption phases of the industry, to one that is more mature and operationally sustainable in approach.

Accordingly, whilst the below considerations do not list the entirety of the discussion required, it does highlight aspects that should be considered, or have failed to have been considered in the recent past, leading to a flurry of decisions being made on how to grow the Space industry

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Yuri Gagarin. Alan Shepard. Yang Liwei. Toyohiro Akiyama. Andy Thomas. Jean-Loup Chrétien. Marc Garneau. Tim Peake.
A collaborative approach to the Australian space domain - Part II

without stifling innovation and growth.

There is a critical mass required within a specific capability for it to flourish, else it risks not having enough resources and investment to improve perpetually and continuously. On the flip side, oversaturation of a capability may also lead to economic instability. The immediate step in correction of a potential situation (or situations) akin to the above is through the manipulation of the industry to incentivise efforts and investment in other untouched capabilities. For example, there is a perception that the satellite or launch capabilities are drawing most of the investment, and therefore other aspects may be left behind, which could end up being Australia’s niche. Whether this perception is true or not, the usage of incentivisation practices could be a way to balance out the industry and encourage growth along the Space Supply Chain.

The negative effects of this were faced during COVID-19 whereby the impacts of not having a sustainable Supply Chain in Australia for various products was felt. For example, the shortage of ventilators during the heights of the pandemic.

There is an optimal level of redundancy required in some industries to ensure quality and efficacy, but this is a careful balance between innovation, disruption, disintegration, and consolidation of an industry. However, this in itself can be managed through cross-industry relationships, whereby elements of the Space Supply Chain are utilised by other industries.

Whilst not exhaustive, one can understand the

complexities of setting up the state-by-state hypothesis as the underpinning Operating Model for the Space industry within Australia, when overlayed with these considerations. However, it should be noted that a coordinated, streamlined, and sustainable Space Supply Chain is a necessary component in supporting the ambitions of Australia’s Space industry, especially given the cross-industry interactions such a movement would benefit from.

Australia’s Role in the Space Supply Chain: A Proposition

Understanding where Australia plays a significant role in the Global Space Supply Chain means identifying the relevant capabilities and their CoE. Identifying and implementing the state-by-state Operating Model aligned to each state or territory’s CoE for a particular capability-set, forms the first step.

The second step then becomes understanding the maturity of each capability within the borders of Australia, and as it relates to the wider Global ecosystem. The rest of this article.

Only at this point can it be clearly identified which capabilities give Australia an edge in the Global Space Domain and which capabilities are a necessary part of Australia’s sovereign capability and a necessity for our own sovereign operations. What this means is, at this point, a capability or a group of capabilities may be identified, enabling Australia to commercialise this offering to become

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: Conceptualised Space Supply Chain

a service provider of it to the rest of the world.

For example, NASA has regarded Australia’s robotics and autonomous systems capability and its remote operations capability as world-class, and a real potential and frontrunner for utilisation in lunar or other off-world resource extraction efforts. The current NASA Deputy Administrator, Pamela Melroy, had even mentioned this during the NASA Contingent visit in 2023. This is a capability that may be predominately apparent in Western Australia, but is actually one that is a national capability, with the likes of CSIRO leading a similar, yet augmentative charge, in this domain.

The exercise to identify Australia’s place in the Global Space Domain begins to place the nation into a position where, like NASA (or USA), may have a capability that is too advanced to be ignored and thereby becoming a critical part for the future exploration, research, and development of off-world applications. And it’s not just us, Canada is an excellent example of a country who has gone through hurdles to become a pioneer in Space Robotics. The story below is one that Australia could adopt in capturing the international audience with a nation-defining capability.


Canada's journey towards becoming a pre-eminent destination for space robotics is a testament to its visionary approach, unwavering commitment to innovation, and strategic foresight. The nation's emergence as a go-to country in this field can be traced back to its early recognition of the immense potential of robotics in the Aerospace sector.

In the early 1980s, the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) initiated the Space Engineering Program, laying the foundation for Canada's expertise in space robotics. This visionary step led to the establishment of key institutions like the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), which became instrumental in advancing the country's space ambitions.

A pivotal factor in Canada's rise to prominence in space robotics has been its collaborative partnerships with international space agencies, most notably NASA. These alliances facilitated the launch of the first Canadarm on the Space Shuttle Columbia in 1981, a historic achievement that showcased Canada's capabilities. The subsequent development of the Canadarm series and the sophisticated robotic hand, Dextre, for the International Space Station solidified Canada's reputation as a vital contributor to space exploration.

Canada's success in space robotics can be attributed to its unwavering commitment to innovation. Strategic investments in research and development, along with a vibrant ecosystem of collaboration between academia, industry, and government, have fostered a culture of technological advancement. The CSA, in close partnership with the country's industry, has played a pivotal role in pushing the boundaries of space robotics.

Through its visionary approach, strategic partnerships, and unwavering commitment to innovation, Canada has emerged as a global leader in space robotics. Its contributions have not only propelled the frontiers of space

exploration but have also showcased the nation's ability to nurture innovation and solidify its position in Aerospace technology. As Canada continues to invest in research and development and embrace emerging technologies, its trajectory as the world's go-to country for space robotics is poised to continue, shaping the future of space exploration.

The conceptualised supply chain, as represented in the Conceptualised Space Supply Chain image above, could be replicated for the international domain, highlighting a potential conceptual Global Supply Chain depiction of the international ecosystem. Diving into the details of each country’s strategy would have a similar, yet create an internationalised depiction of the Supply Chain. Whilst this hasn’t been performed in this article, the depiction would hint at this Globalised lens, providing for a European Space Agency (ESA)-like model.

For context, a high-level scan over the NASA and ESA model highlights two differentiating features. The NASA model seeks to retain a highly specified sovereign capability set that includes coverage over most, if not all, the domains required for a Space Superpower. This in effect, highlights the state or territory-based model, having a specific jurisdiction as the CoE.

ESA on the other hand, due to its ‘regional’ appearance, is much more internationalised in its concept, providing for each country in the European Ecosystem to play its part in providing a sensical contribution to the European Space arena. Therefore, highlighting a much more internationalised collaboration model, suggesting that Australia’s place in the Global Space Supply Chain is truly its Robotics and autonomous systems and remote operations capabilities.

Whilst the purpose of this article is not to critically analyse Australia’s place in the Global Space Domain, it does in effect emphasis the need to focus on a National Capability by identifying where the nation’s strengths and weaknesses exist. In this case, it could be argued, very strongly, that this lies in the Robotics and Autonomous Systems and Remote Operations capabilities. The benefit of this identification, therefore, can drive directed investment, educational programs, international partnerships to help accelerate Australia’s Space Industry and the connected value chain.

Space Supply Chain Operating Model: Hub-andSpoke

Based on analysis conducted over Part One and Two, the way forward becomes one that emphasising the interconnection between National Interoperability (i.e., huband-spoke Operating Model) and Global Interoperability (i.e., Australia’s place in Space).

This emphasis becomes centric to proliferating the concept of state-based collaboration, not competition, before enabling nation-based collaboration. Australia is whole when all its states and territories are functioning together. COVID-19 highlighted several difficulties in national coordination due to the three tiers of government (Federal, state, local), but Space is one such Domain where

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difficulties (and failure) is not an option.

Individual state-based strategies exist today, and whilst some seek to align to Australia’s Civil Space Strategy – they also build an unhealthy level of competition, at the expense of collaboration, and do not entirely highlight where the true CoEs reside. Like any participant in any industry, it is highly unlikely that an organisation can be a leader in everything. Sometimes, being a fast follower, or a user is the best approach.

A collaboration-first strategy, in a disruptive yet innovative industry, demands leadership from the front – the Australian Space Agency plays this role. Each state and territory already have world-leading skills, resources, and Subject Matter Experts. These should be inputs into deciding which state or territory retains the ‘Leader’ role (i.e. hubs) and which play the ‘Follower’ role (i.e, spokes). This highlights the need for the delegation of partial responsibility for the operationalisation of the Australian Space Agency’s strategy to the individual states and territories, rather than transfer of complete responsibility. With this delegation implemented, the strategies of individual states and territories would be much more targeted than the strategies that exist today.

For reference (and as mentioned section 4), whilst not jurisdiction centric, NASA, follows a similar model, albeit it is more facility focused. Each facility is the CoE for a different capability, with the other facilities in the NASA ecosystem being in existence to support one another and create a country-wide collaborative model.

There are a number of additional considerations that need to be made, that include strategic direction for the nation, but also sovereignty requirements. Most importantly, this would be a recurring activity as the Space ecosystem continues to develop over time.

As re-iterated numerous times, this is not an indictment on the current skillsets and areas of interest or focus for each state or territory, but rather an opportunity to define a collaborative and ‘completed puzzle’ Operating Model to operationalise the Australian Space Agency’s national strategies.

NASA depicts a healthy template for interstate collaboration, whilst ESA depicts a healthy template for international collaboration. These templates are what have been suggested for Australia to follow as it matures.

Collaboration will Unlock the Space Domain

Disruption and innovation happen. Sometimes triggered by negative factors, and sometimes positive. The Space Domain is undergoing that.

To get to that steady state, as represented in the Disruption Maturity Curve image, there is a need for collaboration for the purposes of achieving the ultimate objective, whatever it may be.

This article has highlighted an overarching suggestion to effectively strategise at the national level, before delegating to particular states and territories where a specialist capability exists (hubs) for operationalisation and collaboration, before creating further spokes as necessary to ensure a sufficient Space Supply Chain. This in turn highlights the effectiveness of a hub-and-spoke Operating Model.

NASA depicts a healthy template for interstate collaboration, whilst ESA depicts a healthy template for international collaboration. These templates are what have been suggested for Australia to follow as it matures.

Whether these suggestions highlighted through this report are enacted within the short-term, in the long-term, or as the industry settles into this steady state, the huband-spoke Operating Model will likely fall into line with how a matured industry operates. Ultimately, states and territories in alignment, regardless of borders and naturally collaborating, in the Space Domain, is the key.

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Positive Disruption Steady -State Negative Disruption Timeline / Phasing Innovation Rationalize Mature Insert Collaboration Here Collapse
Conceptualised Space Supply Chain

CubeSatPlus 2023: Paving the way for small-sat technology advancements in Australia

In the vast expanse of space, innovation knows no bounds. Pushing the boundaries of what's possible, CubeSatPlus 2023 in Sydney was for two days the epicentre of cuttingedge advanc ements in small-sat technology and “New Space” in Australia.

CubeSatPlus, an annual event organised by the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) at the prestigious University of New South Wales (UNSW), serves as a vital platform for brilliant minds in the space industry. Scientists, engineers, and space enthusiasts gathered to exchange ideas, showcase their innovations, and engage in thought-provoking discussions related to small-sat technology. This year's theme, "Mission Assurance," led to captivating presentations and panel discussions exploring various aspects of the theme.

The event commenced with compelling keynote speeches from renowned entities, Argotec, Astroscale, and Deloitte Space, setting the stage for the immersive workshop proceedings. Participants dived into sessions covering missions (research and defence), launch and a very insightful panel discussion on supply chain. As the curtains closed on the first day, the evening networking event (sponsored by SmartSatCRC) offered a perfect opportunity

to unwind at The Lounge, situated on the 11th floor of the iconic UNSW Library building, providing attendees with a breathtaking view of Sydney's night lights while fostering meaningful connections and discussions.

The second day of the workshop was filled with key sessions always included as technical discussions of missions (commercial), facilities, and payloads. These aspects of the sector remain strong despite recent defunding of space by the Federal Government. Consistent with previous workshops, the panels were focussed on problems currently experienced by practitioners in the sector. This year’s panel on Mission Assurance, the finale of the event, did justice in exploring what that meant for the future of the space ecosystem.

The event attracted over a hundred attendees over the two days, drawn by its reputation as an essential event in the space industry calendar. Scholarships provided by HEO Robotics enabled 10 students from all across Australia to travel and learn about the state of the art in the sector and meet the people making these exciting missions happen. The cubesat technology showcase, courtesy of InvestmentNSW and SmartSatCRC was a demonstration of current progress of payloads and missions and a testament

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to the momentum of this burgeoning industry.

CubeSatPlus 2023 was made possible through the generous sponsorship of Investment NSW, SmartSatCRC, HEO Robotics, Microchip, GPC Electronics, Australian Space Agency, Dandelions, and Amatek Design. The event received media coverage from our esteemed media partner, MySecurityMedia, further elevating its impact on the space community.

As CubeSatPlus 2023 concluded, the commitment and passion exhibited by participants and sponsors alike affirmed the steadfast progress and unwavering dedication to shaping the future of small-sat technology and space exploration in Australia. As we look back on the resounding success of this extraordinary event, the Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research (ACSER) is already eagerly paving the way for an even more remarkable future edition.

The importance of the event to the sector and the role it has played in developing “Space 2.0” activities were highlighted in an interview with Prof Andrew Dempster for this magazine.

The next event on the ACSER calendar is the Off-Earth Mining Forum

proudly supported by Fleet

held for the first time in Perth on August 22.

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– West Space Technologies,
The cubesat technology showcase, courtesy of InvestmentNSW and SmartSatCRC was a demonstration of current progress of payloads and missions and a testament to the momentum of this burgeoning industry.
The ACSER Team: L-R Rozaine Wijekularatne, Industry Liaison; Prof. Andrew Dempster, Director; Michael Rorhbach; Ignatius Rivaldi, Research Engineer; Cheryl Brown, Operations Coordinator; Shagun Aggarwal, PhD Student; Dr. Eamonn Glennon, Senior Research Associate; Dr. Joon Cheong, Deputy Director. ANT61 : Eben Steenekamp, Domenic Simone Michael Jones, Executive Chairman & Group CEO, Equatorial Launch Australia

Interview with Professor Andrew Dempster

Director, Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research UNSW Sydney

We speak with Professor Andrew Dempster, Director, Australian Centre for Space Engineering Research, UNSW Sydney who outlines the growth in the CubeSatPlus 2023 workshop program since it was first held in 2014.

Held at the UNSW Kensington Campus, Sydney, Australia on the 5th and 6th of July, the workshop brings together a diverse group of scientists, engineers, and entrepreneurs from around the country to share and discuss the remarkable progress of the Australian CubeSat community and the impressive growth it has achieved in a relatively short time.

Today, Australia’s rapid advancement sees more CubeSats in development than have previously been launched from sovereign ground, a testament to the hard work and dedication of community members!

The program includes missions, payloads, launch, infrastructure, access to space and more. This year’s workshop also includes new sessions on Mission Assurance, Supply Chain and Businesses “spinning in” to space as well.

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Removing space junk: The missing piece of the puzzle

As our reliance on space infrastructure continues to grow, so does the concern over the proliferation of space debris in Earth's orbits. While efforts have been made to limit the number of derelict satellites and rocket bodies left in orbit and mitigate collision risks for operational satellites, there is still a missing piece to this complex puzzle: the remediation of space debris. Remediation, the process of removing defunct objects from orbit, is a crucial step toward ensuring the sustainability of space activities. This article explores the challenges posed by space debris, the importance of remediation efforts, and the groundbreaking initiatives aimed at removing space junk, making our orbits safer and more sustainable.

Collisions fuel collisions

Currently, there are a million human-made objects, ranging in size from 1 to 10 centimeters, orbiting our planet. Most of these objects are too small to be effectively tracked from the ground, posing a significant threat to operational satellites. With velocities five times faster than a bullet, even these small objects can cause catastrophic damage upon collision with active satellites. While active satellites are increasingly capable of avoiding collisions with tracked debris objects, there are thousands of large derelict objects that cannot be maneuvered. Moreover, active satellites can fail before being deorbited, adding to the existing population of space debris. A collision between two bus-sized objects would generate tens of thousands of

fragments larger than 10 cm and hundreds of thousands of smaller fragments. Such dramatic events can initiate a dangerous cascade effect that exponentially increases the population of space debris.

Space debris impacts an expanding space economy

The consequences of space debris extend beyond the immediate risk of collision. Congested orbits not only make operations more costly due to increased shielding requirements and evasive maneuvers but also jeopardize the long-term benefits we derive from space activities, which cannot be overstated. In recent decades, the space industry has experienced significant growth and expansion, transforming our lives in numerous ways. Satellites have become integral to modern society, enabling global connectivity, navigation, weather monitoring, scientific research, and much more. They provide crucial data for climate change studies, support communication networks in remote regions, and assist in disaster management and response efforts. Moreover, space exploration has inspired humanity while fostering technological advancements and expanding our understanding of the universe. According to the Space Foundation, a nonprofit organization founded in 1983 to advocate for the global space ecosystem, the space economy currently has global revenue of around $469 billion and could reach a trillion dollars by the end of the next decade. This monetary value is only the beginning, as many services such as global positioning and Earth

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observations are provided free of charge to individual users through government programs.

As the space industry continues to evolve, it opens new opportunities for economic growth and innovation. From satellite constellations for global broadband internet to space tourism ventures and asteroid mining prospects, the potential for commercial activities in space is vast. However, to fully capitalize on these opportunities and ensure the sustainable growth of the space industry, it is imperative to address the challenge of space debris and mitigate its adverse impacts. By doing so, we can safeguard the value and potential of space for current and future generations.

Space debris remediation is a must

Like many environmental issues, the problem of space debris demands a coordinated and multidimensional approach. While efforts have been made to limit the generation of new space debris, it is essential to address the existing pollution to ensure the safe and sustainable utilization of our orbital resources. The de-orbiting of derelict space objects, often referred to as active debris removal (ADR), is a critical tool in mitigating collision risks and preventing the exponential growth of the space debris population. ADR involves the deployment of robotic servicer satellites that capture and maneuver defunct

objects to lower orbits, where they safely burn up upon reentry into Earth's atmosphere.

“Although technically challenging, ADR is a necessary solution to preserve the benefits of space activities and protect our valuable space infrastructure,” says Muriel RichardNoca, ClearSpace Chief Technical Officer and Co-founder.

Pioneering initiatives in space debris remediation

Recognizing the urgency and importance of space debris remediation, several organizations and agencies have taken the lead in developing pioneering missions. In Europe, the European Space Agency (ESA) and the UK Space Agency have embarked on ambitious projects to demonstrate the complete value chain of debris removal. The ClearSpace-1 mission mandated by ESA aims to remove a large piece of debris, a Vega Secondary Payload Adapter (VESPA), from Earth's orbit in 2026, showcasing the feasibility of debris removal. ClearSpace, a spin-off from EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne, has built a strong industrial consortium to accomplish this trailblazing mission.

Luc Piguet, ClearSpace CEO and Co-founder, says: "ClearSpace's vision is to revolutionize how space missions are conducted, promoting sustainability and driving the circular space economy. Our dedicated engineering teams across multiple countries are working tirelessly to develop groundbreaking technologies for in-orbit servicing applications. With the support of the European Space Agency and esteemed partners like Omega, we are proud to work on the world's first missions to remove debris from orbit with ClearSpace-1 and CLEAR. Our rapid growth and involvement in new servicing missions reflect our commitment to advancing space operations for the benefit of all. Together, we are shaping a brighter future for space exploration."

Similarly, the UK Space Agency has launched its own national space debris removal program aimed at removing

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Interconnected satellite communications networks. Credit: EPFL International Risk Governance Center
“Although technically challenging, ADR is a necessary solution to preservethebenefitsofspace activities and protect our valuable spaceinfrastructure,”

two UK-registered derelict objects with a single servicer. It has selected Astroscale and ClearSpace to design missions that will meet this goal and intends to provide further funding to make one removal mission fly in 2026. These initiatives serve as crucial stepping stones toward commercial space debris removal services.

Overcoming technological, legal, and economic challenges

Space debris remediation presents numerous technological, legal, and economic challenges that must be overcome for successful implementation. Capturing derelict objects that have been in space for extended periods requires advanced robotic systems capable of precise and autonomous operations. Servicer satellites need to be equipped with sophisticated sensors and tools to identify, approach, synchronize with, and capture debris objects while accounting for their varying shapes, sizes, tumbling motions, and orbits. Additionally, ensuring the safe disposal of the captured debris requires careful planning to execute

reentry or deorbit maneuvers, minimizing the potential for fragments to survive reentry and pose a hazard to assets or people on the ground. Such missions necessitate the development of specific propulsion systems and algorithms that enable precise orbital and attitude maneuvers and the selection of optimal disposal trajectories. As a key step in the development of this debris-removal mission, ClearSpace has designed a four-armed capture system for a robotic satellite servicer, an innovative technology that successfully passed proof-of-concept testing at ESA's technology center in the Netherlands in October 2022.

One of the key legal considerations is the ownership and liability associated with space debris. With a vast number of countries, private companies, and international organizations involved in space activities, determining the parties responsible for debris removal and the allocation of associated costs can be complex. Clear regulations and international agreements need to be established to clarify the legal framework surrounding debris removal missions. This includes defining the rights and obligations of stakeholders involved in the remediation process, specifying liability for any damage caused during capture and disposal operations, and establishing protocols for international cooperation in sharing information and resources. Strengthening existing international space law and developing new legal mechanisms specific to space debris remediation will be essential to provide a solid foundation for these activities and encourage participation from all relevant parties.

Despite these challenges, the push for space debris remediation is gaining momentum. Governments, space agencies, and private companies are investing in research and development, fostering innovation in technologies and techniques that will enable more efficient and costeffective debris removal missions. The progress made in space robotics, artificial intelligence, and miniaturized sensors are opening new possibilities for automated debris capture and removal. Additionally, advancements in onorbit servicing capabilities offer potential synergies with space debris remediation efforts, as the same technologies and infrastructure could be utilized for servicing and maintaining operational satellites, further enhancing the sustainability of space activities.


The proliferation of space debris poses a significant threat to the future of space exploration and satellite-based services. While measures to prevent the generation of new debris are crucial, addressing the existing pollution through space debris remediation is equally essential. Efforts are underway to develop and demonstrate the capabilities required for active debris removal, with pioneering missions and initiatives leading the way. Overcoming technological, legal, and economic challenges and fostering international collaboration will be key to the success of these endeavors. By removing space junk, we can ensure the long-term sustainability of space activities, protect critical space infrastructure, and pave the way for a safer and more prosperous future in space exploration and utilization.

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The ClearSpace and ESA teams are testing the full-scale model of the ClearSpace-1 capture mechanism on ESA’s unique low friction air bearing facility at the European Space Research and Technology Center (ESTEC). Credit: ClearSpace. The CLEAR servicer capturing one of its client objects. Credit: ClearSpace.

Interview with Dr Peter Martinez

Secure World Foundation's Executive Director,

Peter has extensive experience in multilateral space diplomacy, space policy formulation and space regulation. He also has extensive experience in capacity building in space science and technology and in workforce development.

Prior to joining SWF, from 2011 - 2018 he chaired the United Nations Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (UN COPUOS) Working Group on the Long-Term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities that negotiated a set of international consensus guidelines to promote the safety and sustainability of space operations. In 2012 and 2013 he was South Africa’s representative on the United Nations Group of Government Experts on transparency and confidence-building measures for space activities. From 2010 – 2015 he was the Chairman of the South African Council for Space Affairs, the national regulatory authority for space activities in South Africa. From 2014 - 2018 he was Professor of Space Studies at the University of Cape Town. Before this he acquired fifteen years of executive level management experience and associated general management skills gained in the research and development environment of the South African Astronomical Observatory, a National Facility under the South African National Research Foundation.

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The surge in activity in Low Earth Orbit is generating legal and governance challenges

We are in a new era for activities in Low Earth Orbit (LEO) – the zone between the lowest sustainable Earth orbit and up to approximately 2,000km above sea level. In addition to the international space station being in LEO, we now have a Chinese space station, private space flights, proposals for two space hotels and debris removal ventures. However, the most prominent development in LEO is the rising number of small satellites. This presents both opportunities and challenges for an effective global governance framework.

Rise of Mega Satellite Constellations in LEO

LEO satellites are smaller, lighter and much less expensive to construct and launch than satellites in higher orbits. Given the lower altitude of LEO satellites it takes less time for a signal to travel to and from the satellite, resulting in faster data transmission. However, because they are closer to Earth and in constant motion, each satellite can only cover a small area of Earth at any given moment. Therefore, a large number of satellites need to be working together in a network to deliver comprehensive coverage. These ‘mega satellite constellations’ can deliver high-speed internet service to locations around the world where ground-based internet is unreliable or expensive.

Space X’s Starlink, launched in 2019, was the first LEO mega satellite constellation. There is now a suite of private space companies planning to launch their own LEO satellite constellations. According to data published by the UN Office

for Outer Space Affairs (UNOOSA), the number of satellites launched into orbit each year has increased rapidly; from 210 in 2013 to 1,200 in 2020 and to 2,470 in 2022. There are approximately 7,700 active satellites in orbit, with 84 percent of these in LEO; over 3,500 satellites belong to Starlink alone. The International Telecommunication Union has received registrations from States for radio frequencies for more than 1.7 million non-geostationary satellites that may be launched into orbit by the beginning of 2030.

International competition to build, launch, and operate LEO satellites is fierce. According to a report in 2021 by the Boston Consulting Group, the communications satellite market is estimated to grow to $40 billion by 2030, largely driven by LEO-based ventures. Around 60 to 70 percent of funding of commercial ventures in space is now directed at LEO endeavours. Governments are also investing in LEO satellite technology, with China, the European Union and the US each developing LEO satellite constellations. Similarly, Australia’s Defence Space Command has contracted Fleet Space Technologies to re-purpose its nextgeneration of LEO satellites for military communications.

The rise in LEO space assets raises legal and governance challenges relating to space debris, space traffic management, the dual-use of satellite technology for commercial and military purposes and the impacts on our dark and quiet skies.

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According to NASA, LEO is an ‘orbital space junk yard’ containing millions of pieces of debris flying at high speeds. This includes pieces of spacecraft, non-functional satellites, abandoned launch vehicle stages and other small debris such as batteries, paint flakes and fuel. Collisions between these objects exacerbate the problem, generating further debris. The risk to future space operations from collision with debris in LEO is a serious concern, particularly for crewed spacecraft.

International law attempts to balance the right to the free use and exploration of outer space with the need to ensure that space activities cause no harm interference, attaching liability for damage to States. The non-binding UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS) Space Mitigation Guidelines 2007 and Guidelines for the Long-term Sustainability of Outer Space Activities provide a framework for exercising due diligence in space operations to minimise the creation of space debris. However, with the growing number of commercial and military assets in LEO, there is a renewed call to strengthen the international regulation of space debris to clarify who is responsible for mitigation and remediation.

Space Traffic Management

The increase in congestion in LEO raises challenges for safely accessing, operating within, and returning from space. The development of technical and regulatory provisions for ‘Space Traffic Management’ (STM) is on the international

agenda. There is no centralized system, equivalent to an air-traffic control service, for outer space. STM is instead left to national authorities, with non-binding standards containing different obligations, practices and definitions. The Outer Space Treaty requires States to conduct all their activities in outer space with due regard to the corresponding interests of other States and to avoid harmful interference with the space activities of others. This principle operates as a limitation on the right of free use of outer space in the Outer Space Treaty. However, in practice, there is little guidance on how to balance free use with the avoidance of harmful interference. Nevertheless, the due regard principle in the Outer Space Treaty recognises the need to avoid deliberate collisions in space and lays a foundation for international co-ordination.

A range of thorny legal issues for STM are yet to be resolved internationally, including the sharing of space situational data, obligations and specific thresholds for issuing collision warnings, minimum safety standards for spacecraft and any onus to undertake collision avoidance manoeuvres. The need for a global STM framework will become more important as the rising number of space assets in LEO increases the risks of accidents and collisions.

Military and Dual-Use LEO Assets

There is growing recognition that satellites in LEO will be important for national security. Governments depend on space assets for rapidly collecting and disseminating intelligence information, supporting military operations and deploying defence capabilities. The disruption of these space assets would have far-reaching implications. LEO space satellites are at risk from both physical and cyberattacks – as demonstrated by anti-satellite missile testing by both Russia and China, and Russia’s cyber-attack on the Ukraine military communications systems one hour prior to launching its invasion. The recent commitment by some States to not carry out destructive anti-satellite missile testing is a positive step towards developing norms of responsible behaviour. However, the ongoing tension on this issue was highlighted in January, when the United States announced that it would consider military retaliation in response to attacks on satellites. The safety of military space objects brings into question the legal threshold for military interference, intervention, counter-measures and

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'...The disruption of these space assets would have far-reaching implications. LEO space satellites are at risk from both physical and cyber-attacks – as demonstrated by anti-satellite missile testing by both Russia and China, and Russia’s cyber-attack on the Ukraine military communications systems one hour prior to launching its invasion.'

use of force in the space domain.

The importance of LEO satellite broadband on the battlefield has been particularly evident in Ukraine. SpaceX, with funding from private investors and the US government, has provided Ukrainian civilians and their military with access to its Starlink internet service. Ukraine swiftly integrated Starlink into its battlefield communications infrastructure. Ukraine has also used Starlink for strategic offensive military purposes such as to operate unmanned aerial surveillance and aerial combat vehicles. In response, Space X unilaterally restricted the use of the technology by Ukraine for offensive military purposes. This is an example of the complexities involved in the supply of private space technology to Governments in times of military conflict.

The dual-use of LEO satellites for civilian and military purposes raises the question of whether commercial satellites could be considered legitimate military targets, and whether States have a legal onus to safeguard commercial satellites. There is a need for careful consideration of, and clarity on, the international law governing the responsible deployment and use of private space assets in times of conflict.

The Dark and Quiet Skies

The presence of thousands of LEO satellites visible to the naked eye has negative impacts for astronomy. According to the American Astronomical Society (AAA) the trails

from LEO satellites will be easily visible in astronomical equipment. Mega satellite constellations also causes concern for indigenous communities that have a unique historical, cultural and religious connection with the night sky. Astronomical observation is important for the continuation of the heritage of first nations people and provides a link between generations.

SpaceX has responded to the concerns regarding the impact of its Starlink satellites on the night sky with initiatives to make the satellites less reflective, but there are doubts about the effectiveness of these measures. In a positive step, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and SpaceX have finalised an agreement to work cooperatively to mitigate the impact of Starlink’s satellites on groundbased astronomical facilities.

There is no international law that prescribes a limit on the brightness of satellites in the LEO. However, Article I of the Outer Space Treaty provides that “[t]here shall be freedom of scientific investigation in outer space” and that “States shall facilitate and encourage international co-operation in such investigation.” The NSF, AAA and the International Astronomical Union continue to work on best practice guidelines and have called for international regulation of the satellite constellation industry with a monitoring, compliance and enforcement mechanism. Discussions are ongoing at UNCOPUOS about possible legal solutions to mitigate the impact of LEO mega satellite constellations on astronomical observations and the protection of our dark skies.


International space law needs to support innovation and space activities in the LEO, while balancing this with the different voices of concern. Space is complex and getting the legal framework right is a challenge. As technology and the use of LEO advances, the legal framework also needs to evolve.

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'The dual-use of LEO satellites for civilian and military purposes raises the question of whether commercial satellites could be considered legitimate military targets, and whether States have a legal onus to safeguard commercial satellites.'

Every year, a highly regarded Selection Board selects 15 space leaders from around the world to participate in the ‘Karman Fellowship’, which promotes cooperation through action. These leaders have been recognised for their outstanding accomplishments in space and their motivation to increase their impact for the betterment of the sector. The 2023 cohort has recently been announced and includes some outstanding astronauts, space agency leaders - and notably for Australia, Mani Thiru, Head of Space and Satellite Solutions at Amazon Web Services (Asia Pacific).

We speak with Hannah Ashford, Managing Director of the Karman Project. Hannah is an Australian non-profit director and lawyer working to promote the cooperative potential and positive use of space technologies for life on Earth. As the Managing Director of The Karman Project, Hannah works with space leaders worldwide to facilitate forums for strategic dialogue, international diplomacy and impactful cooperation. She serves on the Advisory Board of The Exploration Company, which designs and manufactures reusable space capsules to carry goods and humans to space stations around the Earth and to the Moon.

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Interview with Hannah Ashford Managing Director, The Karman Project

UK Space Agency says reducing space debris is a priority

The UK Space Agency’s new Director of Missions and Capability for Discovery and Sustainability says one of her key roles is to bring the agency’s commitment to space sustainability and management of debris into a sharper focus.

Speaking at the recent Secure World Foundation Space Sustainability Summit in New York, Julie Black says building space capabilities that reflect best global practices, such as tracking space objects and reducing or removing debris, is one of eight delivery priorities in the UK Space Agency's 2022-25 corporate plan.

“The agency space sustainability program is designed to mitigate the risks caused by space debris and promote the responsible use of space through a combination of regulation, standards development, technology development, and international missions,” said Black. “I can sum up our approach in a few words – we are not going to make it (the amount of debris in space) worse, and we are going to start making it better.”

Last year, the space agency estimated there were more than 130 million pieces of space debris orbiting Earth, ranging from tiny flecks of paint to entire satellites. Over 36,000 of the objects have a diameter greater than ten centimetres.

The UK Space Agency is eyeing developing and launching a mission in 2026 to demonstrate the country's capability to rendezvous, dock, and de-orbit two UK pieces of space debris. "At the end of that mission, the service that will be refuellable and ready to be used again," said Black.

"We've invested significantly in the European Space Agency's space safety program, which includes Demonstration

Missions of active debris removal and in-orbit servicing, as well as many smaller missions and activities."

In conjunction with developing capacities to de-orbit existing debris, minimizing the creation of more debris is also top of the agency’s agenda. That includes creating and rolling out sustainable space practices. Over 6,500 satellites orbit Earth, and almost half of them are inactive. Under a project called Monitor Your Satellite, the agency is pushing out a satellite surveillance and tracking service to licenced UK operators. “That warns of possible collisions so they can maneuver out of the way as necessary,” said Black.

Just two months into her role after a stint as a program director for the UK’s energy regulator, a job she described as complex, Black now has to balance sustainability concerns against rapid growth in the space sector.

"We will drive forward delivery of the UK plan for space sustainability," she said. "We have made it a priority to invest in industry, especially in companies that work directly to deliver space sustainability through innovation. We also plan to focus on utilizing strong international partnerships, both as an active member of the European Space Agency and through partnerships with global organizations, as they're fundamental to achieving our goals."

Black says the UK Space Agency intends to back up the planned 2026 mission with a 2028 servicing mission that will be capable of refuelling an orbiting spacecraft. By the end of this decade, Black says the agency intends to have developed orbital assembly or manufacturing capabilities by reusing the spacecraft launched in 2026 to remove debris.

34 | Australia in Space Magazine

Space research without boundaries

Curtin University is pushing the boundaries of space technology, advancing planetary science research and expanding our understanding of the local and distant universe.

We’re tracking remote objects, analysing the composition of planetary bodies, designing and building end-to-end satellite technologies for on-orbit missions, and managing large-scale remote observation infrastructure.

With embedded research excellence and support from trusted partners, our bold multidisciplinary research programs look to create impact, innovate and shape the future of the Australian space industry as we build our sovereign capability and capacity in the coming years.

To find out more about our programs and partnerships, visit


• Space systems engineering and remote operations

• Planetary geology, astrophysics and exploration science

• Communications, remote sensing, signal processing and navigation

• Analytics, computing and visualisation

• Robotics and automation

Image: Mars craters densitymap

Authors: Dr. Anthony Lagain(1), Prof. Gretchen Benedix(1), Mr. Konstantinos Servis(2)

(1) Space Science and Technology Centre

(2) CSIRO - Pawsey Super Computing Centre

CRICOS Provider Code 00301J.

Smallsat's large strides

Around 26,104 smallsats (satellites <500 kg) will be launched between 2023-2032, representing a daily launch mass of 1.5 tons over the 10-year period, according to Euroconsult.

Two constellations alone - Starlink (SpaceX) and GuoWang (China SatNet) - will collectively account for nearly two-thirds of smallsats to be launched over the next decade and over four-fifths of smallsat launch mass.

This significant prominence is largely a consequence of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) partial approval of Starlink Gen 2 filings, alongside SpaceX’s launch of 1G satellites on 2G orbital planes, and the substantial expansion of GuoWang activities in China.

However, the two mega-constellations will only represent less than a quarter of market value due to the large cost efficiencies of mega-constellations, leaving significant opportunities for other market participants.

Euroconsult’s latest ‘Prospects for the Small Satellite Market’ market intelligence report, now in its 9th edition, anticipates that the smallsat industry will accumulate around $110.5 billion in market value over the next decade, driven by the replenishment cycles of constellations around the world but also by more complex and costly single satellite missions for government users.

Yet the high-volume market keeps presenting a number of challenges, including limited market addressability for

suppliers, difficult profitability, oversupply, and dominance of commercial activities by a handful of established players.

“New constellations are expected to face scope reductions and consolidation as inflation will keep impacting their materialization probability, alongside supply chain issues and growing costs or limited availability of semiconductors and raw materials.,” said the report’s lead author Alexandre Najjar. “Nonetheless, smallsats still represent a significant capability-building opportunity for new entrants in the space sector, with the conflict in Ukraine spotlighting the merits and value of commercial satcom and Earth observation smallsat constellations.”

Regional demand retention rates and vertical integration are expected to only increase in the future, according to Euroconsult, as more emerging countries and operators seek to procure their own smallsat systems and develop their manufacturing or launch capabilities.

However, this will impose constraints on the addressable markets for many commercial smallsat players, with emerging launch operators also actively exploring opportunities to diversify into subsystems and satellite manufacturing, enticed by the higher profit margins offered in comparison to the launch industry.

Some launch providers are even venturing into satellite operations and downstream services to further expand their business horizons. Several players are thus considering

Courtesy of Euro Consult
36 | Australia in Space Magazine COVER

>500 kg constellations, including Starlink 2G, Project Kuiper, Telesat Lightspeed, Rivada, Intelsat MEO, and O3b mPower.

Though, as some constellation operators transition to larger satellites in a quest for more performance and lower capacity costs, this may create the impression of a shrinking smallsat market towards the end of the decade.

SpaceX’s shift alone, powered by Starship’s entrance to the launch market, can lead to a perceived deficit in the industry, but Euroconsult indicates that the industry’s growth is forecasted to continue at a steady rate when removing Starlink and GuoWang from the equation.

Long-term government agency contracts will continue to serve as a pivotal driver for this growth, including ESA's commercial additions to its Copernicus program, Starlink’s government support, and the National Reconnaissance Office’s 10-year contract with Maxar, BlackSky and Planet Labs, offering reassurance and resilience to investors.

Their ‘Prospects for the Small Satellite Market’ report, now available with a free extract (available to download on the product page), includes a comprehensive analysis of market drivers and inhibitors across five mass categories, six regions, seven satellite applications, five manufacturer typologies, and four types of operators. The intelligence

report also carries a unique and exhaustive database of over 325 projects featuring of tens of thousands of satellites, as well as Euroconsult’s brand new "Data Behind the Graphs" feature which enables access to data from all the graphs in the report and a complete understanding of smallsat market trends.

Prospects for the Small Satellite Market’ is the ninth edition in the series and presents the various factors that will drive/inhibit growth in demand for small satellites (<500 kg) over the next 10 years. It considers satellites by five mass categories, six regions, seven satellite applications, five manufacturer typologies, four types of operators, and much more. Consolidated figures for three metrics (units, mass, value) over two decades, including Euroconsult's forecast for the next decade, are broken down by application, orbit, operator type, mass category, region of the operator as well as integrator and launch provider, type of integrator and type of launcher.

Forecasts are based on data derived from 40 years of tracking the satellite/space value chain together with dedicated industry interviews and information derived from company press releases and financial filings.

AUSTRALIA IN SPACE Australia in Space Magazine | 37
“New constellations are expected to face scope reductions and consolidation as inflation will keep impacting their materialization probability, alongside supply chain issues and growing costs or limited availability of semiconductors and raw materials"

The United Kingdom wants to be a space insurance hub

The United Kingdom is looking to build on its longstanding reputation as a global insurance hub to become a key player in the multi-billion dollar space insurance industry. But the UK’s pitch to insurers comes as the nature of the space insurance industry changes.

“London is the only city where every top 20 insurance and reinsurance firms are active. This gives the UK an unmatched global reach,” Susan Oliver, Counsellor at the UK’s Department of Business and Trade, Defence Cyber, Security, Space and Aerospace, told the recent SpaceTide conference in Tokyo. “The space insurance industry dates back nearly 60 years with Lloyds of London writing the first space insurance policy in 1965.”

Oliver says space allows the insurance industry to capitalize on a unique risk environment. Space insurance has never been inexpensive, but premiums had been trending down over the long term until recently. A handful of high-profile failures around four years ago saw space insurance premiums double or triple overnight as the insurance industry sought to recoup their losses.

In profitability terms, 2020 was also a close shave for insurers. However, since 2021, space insurance has proved profitable again, and premiums have subsided to pre-2019 levels – about 5-20% of the policy value. In 2022, the global space insurance industry generated about USD282 million in profits.

The insurance industry has historically covered big-

ticket items like geostationary satellites, which can cost hundreds of millions of dollars. But the commercialization of space and the advent of small low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites is changing the nature of the space insurance business and challenging the way longstanding insurers in established insurance hubs like London do business.

Christopher Kunstadter, Global Head of Space at AXA Ltd, a French multinational insurance company, also speaking at SpaceTide, says he’s seen a lot of changes in the types of satellites and launch vehicles deployed and, consequently, changes in the way space insurers look at risk. However, he argues that space insurance remains a critical enabler of innovation and investment.

“We allow organizations and enterprises to take a risk, and we facilitate the investors to support them, which is a very key part of the space landscape,” he said. “But risk is changing in space. We see tremendous developments in technologies and applications, with new launch vehicles, new satellites… many different things that we would not have imagined ten or 15 years ago.

“Along with that comes a more congested space environment and new threats from cyber and conflict in space. We really have to look very closely at risk, but to mitigate those risks, we support space and responsible space activity and incentivize good behaviour. As insurers, when it comes to space, we embrace risk.”

Oliver says the UK tech industry, which her department

38 | Australia in Space Magazine

classes the space sector as part of, is worth over USD1 trillion, lagging only the United States and China and ahead of Europe. She says the UK government wants to “cement’ the country as a science and technology “superpower” and that doing so is vital to economic growth.

One of the key changes in the space and space insurance sector has been the proliferation of small satellites in LEO. But only about 1% of those satellites are insured. “The rise in small satellites has really affected the space insurance market,” said Kunstadter. “The landscape has changed because a company that launches hundreds or even thousands of small satellites can afford to lose a certain number. As a result, many of the operators of LEO constellations don’t buy insurance once the satellites are up in orbit. They have spatial diversity, and there are plenty up there that they can use.”

But Kunstadter says the increasing number (approximately 5,000) of LEO satellites is posing a growing collision risk, and the lack of small satellites insured for that is concerning, and that’s forcing some change in the insurance industry, with some insurers (including ACA) starting to offer collision only insurance cover.

Paul Aitchison, the class underwriter for the Nebula Space Consortium at Ascot Underwriting Limited, is based in London and helping drive the UK government’s push to lock in that city as a space insurance hotspot. Ascot is a Lloyds of London syndicate, but his customers are a long

way from the sea mariners that Lloyds built its reputation underwriting. The Nebula consortium provides around USD13 billion worth of space insurance to clients around the world.

“We’ve seen large losses occur,” he admitted at SpaceTide. “We’ve had to endure payments of claims, but that’s what the insurance industry does. In terms of enabling space business, I often have clients say that if it was not for insurance, they wouldn’t be able to raise the finance to even start thinking about launching their spacecraft.”

He says competitors across the space insurance industry are seeing the same developments and challenges, and evolving to meet both is important. While Kunstadter spoke about the growing need for collision risk, Aitchison sees Ascot playing a bigger role in offering launch vehicle flight-only insurance to owners of LEO satellites, who typically pay a private operator like SpaceX or Rocket Lab to get their satellite into position to deploy into orbit.

“Launch vehicle flight cover will cover for the failure of the launch vehicle. It will cover for delivery into incorrect orbits or even some sort of catastrophic destruction,” Aitchison said. “What it does is provide financial protection for new companies or companies providing services via small satellites.”

While some operators will continue to push with boundaries in space, going further with more expensive payloads, Kunstadter and Aitchison say that the nature of space insurance is changing. Ascot Underwriting running the Nebula consortium from London is an own goal for the UK government and its vision of transforming that city into a space insurance hub. Nonetheless, whether the UK government can move beyond a stated target and put the appropriate incentives and support into place to reach that goal for the space insurance industry remains to be seen, and that’s before considering the changing nature of cities and workforces and whether the whole concept of one city as a focus point for any professional service industry remains a valid one.

AUSTRALIA IN SPACE Australia in Space Magazine | 39
“Launch vehicle flight cover will cover for the failure of the launch vehicle. It will cover for delivery into incorrect orbits or even some sort of catastrophic destruction,” Aitchison said. “What it does is provide financial protection for new companies or companies providing services via small satellites.”

Luxembourg space agency eyes bridging role in US-China space relations

The Luxembourg Space Agency (LSA) sees itself as a potential bridge between the United States and China, even though the space agencies in the two big space countries barely speak to each other.

Mathias Link, the director of the LSA, made the comments while speaking at the Secure World Foundation’s Sustainable Space Summit in New York last week. Link was responding to a question on the US–China dynamic and the potential role of European space agencies to serve as deconflict agents. The director acknowledged the geopolitical implications at play, saying it was often necessary to “pick a side,” but given the scale of expansion of the space sector in China, and the level of innovation there, keeping the lines of communication open with the Chinese space sector was a positive thing.

“Luxembourg doesn’t have an issue with China,’ he said. “We have a lot of Chinese banks and entities in Luxembourg. These relations work. In Europe, we are willing to be a sort of bridge, and I hope this can be maintained.”

Link’s comments followed an address by the US Space Command Deputy Director earlier on the same day at the summit, which accused China of a lack of space transparency.

Lt. Gen. John E. Shaw said the transparency issue and silence from China's space agency were major concerns.

Luxembourg has been active in the space sector for several decades, founding one of the world’s biggest satellite companies, Société Européenne des Satellites (SES), in 1985 and going on to set up the LSA in 2018. The small European country and its new space agency aimed to develop a space mining niche. “We started with a policy that was orientated towards commercial space,” said Link.

In the same year as establishing the LSA, the

Luxembourg government also signed a memorandum of understanding with the China National Space Administration (CNSA) that provided a framework for nonmilitary co-operation between the two countries in the space sector.

While well outside the ranks of the world’s biggest space agencies, five years after its foundation, the LSA packs an outsized punch, and it is one of the world’s most advanced countries regarding space technology.

"I'm not sure if we would qualify as a leading country here, but we try to do our best to contribute," Link told the Summit. He said a willingness to work with other countries, including China, gave countries like Luxembourg an edge and a "buy-in" in the increasingly international and futuristic space sector.

“We need investors, and we need to find those investors and reassure them that there is something they can invest their money in here (Luxembourg),” said Link. He says the role of the LSA is to find and develop new markets for the country’s space sector.

Link says international cooperation is essential for smaller space agencies like the LSA. “The winner takes it all is not an option for us,” he says when asked about the global carve of the space pie. “We need to be as inclusive as possible, and we need international cooperation.”

With US-China space relations at a nadir, China is turning to a range of mid-tier international space agencies, like the LSA, willing to work with them. Link says even with “difficult" bilateral relationships between certain countries, for purely practical reasons, Luxembourg will continue to have conversations and cooperate with China’s space sector.

40 | Australia in Space Magazine

Interview with Dr. Brian Weeden

Director of Program Planning for Secure World Foundation

Dr. Weeden directs strategic planning for future-year projects to meet the Foundation's goals and objectives, and conducts research on space debris, global space situational awareness, space traffic management, protection of space assets, and space governance. Dr. Weeden also organizes national and international workshops to increase awareness of and facilitate dialogue on space security, stability, and sustainability topics. He is a member and former Chair of the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on Space Technologies, a former member of the Advisory Committee on Commercial Remote Sensing (ACCRES) to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and the Executive Director of the Consortium for Execution of Rendezvous and Servicing Operations (CONFERS).

As part of NASA’s efforts to address orbital debris, the agency is funding research proposals from three university-based teams over the next year to analyze the economic, social, and policy issues associated with space sustainability.

Orbital debris consists of human-made objects orbiting Earth that no longer serve a purpose, including mission-related and fragmentation debris, nonfunctional spacecraft, and abandoned rocket stages.

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Calls for a new way of thinking about the global space race

As two of the world’s leading space powers gear up to send humans back to the Moon in a big spending space race, a history professor specializing in science and technology says the big missions don’t necessarily define the story of the global space race. Instead, it is about winning more of the smaller projects.

Professor Asif A. Siddiqi from New York’s Fordham University discussed the legacy of lunar exploration at the recent Space Sustainability Summit. He agrees the return of humans to the Moon and the eventual establishment of a permanent presence there are “the big benchmarks.” Still, he says it would be a mistake to overlook the lower-profile missions underway and the competitive tensions between space nations.

Historically, Siddiqi says the most important space race was that between the United States and the Soviet Union. “Between Sputnik and Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landing on the Moon, we can think of it as a race between two superpowers,” he said. “Human exploration of space quickly devolved into a very high-stakes race by the 1960s.”

Because the United States first made it to the Moon, they are widely assumed to have won that space race, but Siddiqi suggests otherwise. “Before that landing, there was an enormous amount of investment in the robotic exploration of the Moon, both by the Soviets and the US, in terms of all sorts of smaller benchmarks like the first lunar impact, the first pictures of the far side of the Moon, the first soft lunar landing, and the first lunar orbit. We forget, but in those little races, the Soviet Union dominated almost every benchmark, but it is forgotten as

the United States won the big one.”

While China has replaced the Soviet Union as the primary counterpart to US space supremacy, Siddiqi says the principle remains the same. While the first of the powers to return to the Moon may get the glory, that prize may not determine who wins the space race in the first half of the 21st century.

“Now, there are a lot of little space races going on, just like in the 1960s,” he said. “There are similarities, but there are also enormous differences.”

Siddiqi says the way space races play out, particularly between nation-states, means that calls for a global space governance treaty may need to be revised. While the Soviets were adversarial towards the US in the 1950s and 1960s, undermining international space cooperation at the time, in the 2020s, the Chinese are even more antagonistic, and also highly secretive. Siddiqi argues that future global governance and cooperation agreements require thinking outside the box and consideration of alternatives to a UNstyle space treaty.

In addition to China’s role in the space ecosystem, Siddiqi said the shifts in the barriers to entry to space, the new players, including from the private sector, and the increasing commercialisation, changes the whole ecology of what’s going on in space compared to the first big space race. Consequently, he says we should shift how we think about inter-nation space competitiveness and how it is managed.

“We need to let go of our nostalgia for Apollo and move on and work with different models to the old 1960s space races.”

42 | Australia in Space Magazine

Unlocking the potential of space: Spire's vision and approach after a decade of innovation

While private sector rockets make accessing space possible, the capabilities-per-kilogram of satellites has grown tenfold every five years, reducing the cost of building space technology and enabling many new use cases

Simplifying Space for All: Spire's Vision and Approach

Having established itself as a leading player in the space industry over the course of a decade, Spire Global operates a fleet of over 100 satellites that observe the Earth in real time using radio frequency technology to provide global weather intelligence, ship and plane movements, and spoofing and jamming detection. With locations worldwide, including a presence in Australia, Spire-built and operated satellites significantly contribute to the new wave of technology and data analytics that are creating a safer and more sustainable planet for all.

For decades, many space applications were out of reach apart from government bodies. While private sector rockets make accessing space possible, the capabilitiesper-kilogram of satellites has grown tenfold every five years, reducing the cost of building space technology and enabling many new use cases. Just as companies once needed an Internet strategy to succeed, the world is now at the cusp of adopting space-data strategies. Spire believes most of the organisations can define their own space

strategy to stay ahead of the curve and aims to simplify the journey to space for players across various business sectors.

Spire's Space Services division offers a comprehensive suite of services, handling every aspect of a mission's lifecycle from design and build to launch and ongoing satellite operations. Spire streamlines space for its customers by offering comprehensive support, including access to infrastructure, expertise, and data services, empowering companies to focus on utilizing space insights to enhance life on Earth. At its core, Spire serves as a passionate advocate for the capability of space to capture essential indicators of our planet, actively observing and monitoring the Earth.

Spire serves a diverse customer base consisting of both commercial and government sectors, demonstrating its adaptability to meet various requirements. An illustration of this is Spire's active engagement in the Australian 'new space' sector, where it explores opportunities and establishes new partnerships. As part of this journey, the Australian Office of National Intelligence (ONI) has partnered with Spire as part of their NICSAT program to develop the Satellite Djara (pronounced Jar-ra) equipped with advanced machine

44 | Australia in Space Magazine

learning (ML) capabilities. Djara was named as a tribute and homage to the Ngunnawal (pronounced nuh-nuh-wol) indigenous Australian people who inhabit the Ngunnawal nation in which the Australian capital Canberra (itself a derivative of the Ngunnawal word for ‘meeting place’ –kamberri) is located. Djara is a Ngunnawal word for ‘stars’.

This mission focuses on conducting experiments with systems that enable the on-orbit collection and analysis of data, including commercially available sensors and technologies such as Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and ML systems on a chip. The Spire and ONI solution collects and processes data on orbit and then leverages Spire’s cloud infrastructure to downlink, further process, and analyse the data.

Spire is also a proud partner of Myriota, a direct-toorbit (NTN) communications leader for the Internet of Things (IoT), known for its end-to-end security, privacy and power efficiency outperforming alternatives by 10-30 times. In the past financial year, the Myriota Network experienced a 300% surge in IoT devices across four continents. Myriota leverages Spire's proven constellation to deliver reduced latency and increased data, opening up new use cases

across diverse sectors such as agriculture, industrial and environmental management. The partnership supports Myriota in its rapid network “scale out” as demand for reliable IoT connectivity takes off.

Through its comprehensive suite of services and a simplified approach to space exploration, Spire is enabling businesses in Australia and beyond to maximize their return on investment by unlocking the full potential of space data.

The Advantages of the Space as a Service Model

The revolutionary approach to accessing and utilising the cosmos is what sets Spire apart. Through its Space as a Service model, Spire has redefined engagement rules, unlocking many benefits for companies venturing into the final frontier.

One of the primary advantages of the model is the simplified access it provides to space. Spire's fully deployed space, web and ground infrastructure allows its clients to focus on their core business objectives while Spire takes care of the intricate operations and logistics required for successful space missions. By streamlining the complexities of space, Spire empowers organisations to navigate their space journey with confidence and efficiency.

Time is of the essence, and Spire Space Services acknowledges this urgency in bringing solutions to market quickly. By partnering with Spire, organizations can expedite their satellite missions and implement spacebased solutions in as quick as weeks to months. Leveraging Spire's streamlined processes and established infrastructure, clients can rapidly launch and expand their satellite constellations with exceptional speed and dependability. This accelerated pace allows them to gain a competitive advantage by reaching their target audience before their competitors have even taken off.

An Efficient Solution

Spire's subscription-based Space Services model eliminates the astronomical costs associated with space ventures, democratizing access to space resources for all businesses. By removing the upfront investment in infrastructure, companies of all sizes can deploy and operate their satellite constellations, payloads, or applications without large financial barriers. Collaborating with Spire unlocks unique

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AUSTRALIA IN SPACE Australia in Space Magazine | 45
100+ Satellites launched into orbit 500+ Years of space heritage 30+ Ground Stations 99.9% API Uptime 70+ Antenna Systems 99.7% API uptime 35+ Launch campaigns on 10 different launch vehicles 24/7 Global Ops and covereage

intelligence from space, providing clients with reliable infrastructure to deliver according to their mission needs.

Spire’s collaboration with GHGSat, for example, is enabling the company to draw on its extensive resources and experience to support GHGSat's mission of monitoring industrial greenhouse gas emissions worldwide. Through this partnership, GHGSat will see the launch of three hosted payloads on Spire's 16U satellite buses later this year, expanding GHGSat's existing fleet of six small satellites. This joint effort strengthens GHGSat's constellation dedicated to high-resolution monitoring of methane and carbon dioxide emissions from carbon-intensive industries worldwide. By accurately detecting emission events and quantifying emissions, GHGSat's data services contribute to local and global efforts in achieving net-zero targets, combating climate change. With Spire Space Services, GHGSat can focus on monitoring while benefiting from Spire's satellite operations and data delivery expertise.

Another company leveraging Spire's innovative Space as a Service model is OroraTech, a global industry leader in space-based thermal intelligence. OroraTech has commissioned Spire to build, launch and operate an eightsatellite constellation dedicated to global temperature monitoring. Once operational, it will represent the first and largest constellation of satellites dedicated to tracking and monitoring wildfires.

The Canadian Space Agency (CSA) has also awarded a contract jointly to Spire and OroraTech to deliver preparatory work towards a wildfire monitoring satellite, an initial step towards CSA’s planned WildFireSat mission. The mission aims to monitor all active wildfires in Canada from space daily.

From simplifying access to space to accelerating time-

to-market, reducing costs, and driving sustainability, Spire Space Services stands as a catalyst for innovation and progress in the space industry.

Spire's Commitment to the Australian Space Ecosystem

Spire recognises the Australian space ecosystem's immense potential. The company is actively working with key stakeholders, including government agencies, research institutions, and industry players, to support and contribute to the growth of Australia's space capabilities.

"At Spire, we are dedicated to simplifying space for all sectors, including governments, new space ventures, and corporate entities. We recognise our clients' diverse needs and ambitions, and our mission is to provide comprehensive solutions that cater to their specific requirements. Whether it's supporting government initiatives, empowering innovative startups in the new space industry, or collaborating with corporate partners, Spire is committed to driving the accessibility and usability of space technology for the benefit of all Spire aims to enhance Australia's space capabilities, drive technological advancements, and contribute to the country's overall space ecosystem." said Jonathon Brain, Regional Space Services Business Development Director APAC, Spire.

Spire's status as an established player in the space industry is evident through its extensive knowledge and experience. The company's successful and userfriendly Space as a Service model has revolutionised how organisations access and utilise space-based resources. The company actively seeks opportunities to collaborate with local partners, invest in infrastructure development, and foster talent and skill development in the Australian space industry. Through these efforts, Spire aims to enhance Australia's space capabilities, drive technological advancements, and contribute to the country's overall space ecosystem.

With a commitment to simplifying space for all, Spire is driving the democratisation of the space industry and enabling businesses to unlock the vast potential of space for their growth and success.

AUSTRALIA IN SPACE 46 | Australia in Space Magazine
'Spire's Space Services division offers a comprehensive suite of services, handling every aspect of a mission's lifecycle from design and build to launch and ongoing satellite operations.'

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M a t h e m a t i c s ( S T E M ) , w e n e e d t o e n s u r e w e a r e d e v e l o p i n g a f u t u r e w o r k f o r c e e q u i p p e d w i t h t h e d i v e r s e a n d d y n a m i c s e t o f s k i l l s t h a t w i l l m e e t t h e n e e d s o f e m p l o y e r s i n t h e s e d e v e l o p i n g a n d i n n o v a t i v e i n d u s t r i e s

O n e G i a n t L e a p A u s t r a l i a h e l p s s c h o o l s b u i l d a n d m a i n t a i n s t u d e n t i n t e r e s t a n d a s p i r a t i o n i n S T E M .

O n e G i a n t L e a p Au s t r a l i a h a s f o r g e d s t r o n g w o r k i n g r e l a t i o n s h i p s a n d p a r t n e r s h i p s w i t h a r a n g e o f e d u c a t i o n a l i n s t i t u t i o n s a n d p r o v i d e r s ; l o c a l , s t a t e a n d n a t i o n a l g o v e r n m e n t a g e n c i e s ; S T E Mb a s e d c o m p a n i e s ; a e r o n a u t i c a l a n d

a s t r o n o m i c a l r e s e a r c h e r s a n d s c i e n t i s t s

a n d o t h e r c o m m u n i t y - b a s e d o r g a n i s a t i o n s

Key Programs Key Programs Key Programs

Seeds i n Space

Australian school students experiment with and cultivate seeds, such as wattle and basil, that have spend time in space on the international space station in this unique scientific study.

Connecti ng Mi nds Project

Students around the globe collaborate together to develop solutions to STEM challenges in space Students not only develop STEM skills but also key communication and collaborative skills

Gadget Gi rlz

Run by girls, for girls, this programs opens the door to young girls who want to pursue a career in STEM Free one day workshops are held across Australia

Space Teams

Former NASA Astronaut, Dr Gregory Chamitoff has developed an online platform for students to learn about and develop space missions and colonies in space Participants also have access to key industry mentors

C o n t a c t : j a c k i e @ o n e g
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i a n t l e a
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Unveiling extraterrestrial mysteries: Juice’s journey to Jupiter and beyond.

Acknowledgements: Dr Sansom would like to acknowledge funding and support from the International Centre for Radio Astronomy Research, Curtin University’s Space Science and Technology Centre and the Australian Research Council (DP230100301).

The European Space Agency’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer (Juice) launched on the 14th April 2023 on an eight-year voyage to our solar system’s largest giant gas planet - Jupiter. The Juice mission is embarking on an extraordinary journey to unravel some of the mysteries of Jupiter and its fascinating moons.

To reach Jupiter using as little power as possible, multiple gravity assist manoeuvres are performed. This uses the gravitational pull of other planets to get sucked in, and sling shot out the other side with a greater speed. Juice will perform several of these manoeuvres, including a solar system first: a binary gravity assist with both our Moon and Earth, arriving at Jupiter in 2031. It may take time, but it is extremely efficient.

This interplanetary spacecraft’s original proposal was selected as part of ESA’s Cosmic Vision program back in 2012. With 10+ years in the making, and another 8 years until it reaches its destination. The question arises: why the substantial effort?

Jupiter's moons may hold the key to understanding life’s origins.

And we’re not just talking about life within our own solar system, but how life might form, evolve, thrive or die across

our galaxy and possibly the universe.

As technology develops, the capacity for humans to explore our cosmic surroundings has gone far beyond our own solar system. We know of nearly 4,000 exoplanets orbiting other stars in our galaxy. Although the new James Webb Space Telescope has recently identified the first Earth-like planet around a foreign star, most exoplanets we know of are large, gas giants, similar to our own Jupiter.

And yet, as our curiosity and capabilities drive us deeper into space, the knowledge to understand it is in our own backyard (so to speak). There is still so much to explore and understand around our own Sun. Knowing that planet formation is a common process across the universe, studying our own solar system is crucial to understanding what might be possible, or even a given, around other stars.

Jupiter itself is analogous to many discovered exoplanets, and it possesses nearly 100 known moons. The four largest, known as the Galilean moons, likely formed alongside Jupiter nearly 4.5 billion years ago in the early solar system. Some of these moons are believed to have had or still possess conditions favourable for life, making them extremely interesting subjects for study.

Only two previous missions, NASA's Galileo (1995-2000) and the ongoing Juno mission, have spent time orbiting Jupiter, providing valuable information about the gas giant

48 | Australia in Space Magazine

and preliminary findings of its moons. However, Juice will be equipped with cutting-edge scientific instruments to conduct detailed observations of Jupiter, its moons, and their interactions. Through remote sensing, spectrometry, and radar techniques, Juice will study the composition, subsurface structures, and potential habitability of these icy worlds.

Among the Galilean moons, Io, the second smallest, harbours massive active volcanoes—the largest in the solar system, visible from Earth. The other three moons— Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto—are believed to have subsurface liquid water. Juice will focus on these waterrich worlds, examining potential habitats for life both on and below their surfaces. It will assess the thickness and composition of their icy crusts, search for subsurface liquid water, and on Europa in particular, will look for evidence of organic molecules. The 10.6m long magnetometer boom successfully deployed a week after launch and, after some troubleshooting, the RIME antenna was also deployed earlier this month <12th May, might need to say middle of last month?>, rendering all instruments fully functional and ready for their tasks ahead.

Ganymede, the only known moon in the solar system with a magnetic field, showcases its own aurorae displays. Our own magnetic field protects Earth’s atmosphere from the harsh solar winds, shielding us from its radiation. The complex interaction between Ganymede’s weak magnetic field and Jupiter’s immense field remains still poorly understood. Could these fields help protect, or work to destroy early life?

A closer examination of Ganymede is essential, and Juice will do just that. After its three-year tour of Jupiter and flying by Callisto, Europa and Ganymede, Juice will switch its orbit in 2034 to revolve around Ganymede, becoming the first spacecraft to orbit a moon other than our own. This is not only a first-of-its-kind achievement, but will give Juice an exceptional vantage point for studying Ganymede's internal, surface, and atmospheric systems. Juice is part of a trio of missions focussed on Jupiter and its moons. They are highly complementary and each have their own focus.

• NASA’s Juno (2016-present) is focused on the gas giant itself, navigating around Jupiters dense radiation belts to map its gravity, magnetic environment and core boundary. It conducted a flyby of Ganymede in 2021 and influenced the plans for Juice.

• ESA’s Juice (arriving 2031) will investigate the overall habitability of the Jovian system, focussing on the four Galilean moons, especially Ganymede.

• NASA’s Europa Clipper (arriving 2030) will focus on the icy moon of Europa, including selecting potential landing sites for future missions. These missions, along with the prospect of future landers, highlights the significance of understanding the Jovian system.

The local geology and composition of Jupiter and its moons will help unravel the moons’ formation histories and their interactions with Jupiter’s powerful magnetic field. Jupiter's magnetosphere is one of the largest structures in our solar system, influencing the environments of its

moons. Juice will investigate the complex interactions between Jupiter's magnetic field and the icy moons, helping us to better understand the dynamics of magnetic environments and their impact on moon formation, structure, and potential habitability. Might some of these findings be ‘universal’ during planet formation?

When searching for ‘life’ and its signatures, scientists seek evidence of carbon-based life as we know it, along with environments that can support it with water, oxygen, low radiation, and warmth. The subsurface oceans on Europa and Ganymede could be, or once have been, potential habitats for life beyond the Earth. Juice and the Europa Clipper will assess the potential habitability of these moons, investigating the presence of key ingredients such as liquid water, organic molecules, and energy sources. These findings may significantly contribute to our understanding of the conditions necessary for life elsewhere in the universe

The European Space Agency's Juice mission represents a remarkable journey to unravel the mysteries of Jupiter and its captivating moons. It pushes the boundaries of scientific understanding and captures the attention and enthusiasm of both scientists and the general public. As Juice embarks on this exciting adventure, groundbreaking discoveries may forever alter our understanding of the cosmos and the potential for extraterrestrial life.

Beyond scientific advancements, exploratory research missions like Juice hold inherent value for humanity. The excitement derived from exploring the unknown pushes boundaries, driving creativity, innovation, and unintentional but hugely beneficial advances. Investing in new knowledge generation can be more valuable than investing in improvement of existing technologies and techniques. For every dollar the US government spends on NASA, be it on missions or blue sky science, it returns tenfold into the community. Spin-offs such as phone cameras, memory foam and fish finders are but a few listed on https://spinoff. Its last economic impact report shows the 2021 financial year generating a total economic output of more than US$71.2 billion, and enabling over 330,000 jobs. This investment strengthens the economy, improves life and inspires our future generations.

Australian researcher involvement in these international space missions can help grow our own space industry, and with recent launches of sovereign built CubeSats, lunar and interplanetary exploration missions are valuable endeavours well within our reach.

AUSTRALIA IN SPACE Australia in Space Magazine | 49
"Beyond scientific advancements, exploratory research missions like Juice hold inherent value for humanity. The excitement derived from exploring the unknown pushes boundaries, driving creativity, innovation, and unintentional but hugely beneficial advances

Space Camp Graduation 2023 Endeavour scholarship program

Caps a breakthrough year of advancing the global stem workforce.

The Astronaut Al Worden Endeavour Scholarship

Class of 2023, four teams of students and educators representing Australia, Bahrain, France, and the United States, graduated from the U.S. Space and Rocket Center’s Space Camp “Advanced Academy” this month. The event and related activities in Huntsville, AL and Washington, DC capped the growing programs’ fourth year of building influential “nation-to-nation" partnerships to promote STEM education around the world and advance the global engineering workforce.

Launched by Tom Kallman, President and CEO of USA Partnership Pavilion organizer Kallman Worldwide at the 2019 International Paris Air Show, the program honors its namesake Worden, pilot of the Apollo 15 Command Module “Endeavour,” for his lifetime commitment to science, technology, engineering, and math education. From 2014 until his passing in 2020, Worden served as Kallman’s STEM Ambassador at industry trade events around the world.

In established and emerging space communities, scholarship selection committees choose four students and an educator annually to represent their countries as “Mission Teams” in an all-expenses paid, week-long, handson astronaut training experience at the renowned Huntsville campus. The 2023 Endeavour class joins alumni from Chile, the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and Singapore on the program’s growing roster.

“Every country we work in — and we’ve worked in at least 50 of them since our company was founded in 1963 — is facing the same challenges to prepare its young people for the future. Many also see that future in space,” Kallman said. “As an extension of our work advancing global trade in exhibition halls around the world, and with the support of global partners in government, industry, the military, and academia, the Endeavour Scholarship mission is to connect with worldwide interest in space to promote STEM careers.”

Apollo 16 Lunar Module Pilot, Charlie Duke, and former Space Shuttle Pilot and NASA Astronaut Office Chief, Hoot Gibson, the Space and Rocket Center’s “Astronaut of the Week,” presided over the graduation ceremonies for 120 students, including the 16 selected by Endeavour, on 7 July. In addition to graduation honors, Zoe Bremner, from Endeavour Mission Team #10 Australia, was selected to receive the Academy’s “Right Stuff” award for exhibiting the same attributes of the brave test pilots and astronauts celebrated in Tom Wolfe’s 1979 best-selling account of the early days of the U.S. space program.

“One of the great joys of my life has been talking with young people about the purpose and integrity of the space program and its positive impact on humankind,” said Duke, who stepped in for his friend Worden on the Endeavour team in 2020. “I was proud to join the international Endeavour mission teams and their classmates at Space

50 | Australia in Space Magazine

Camp graduation. I know Al (Worden) would be proud of this class, and the international program we’re continuing to build in his name, too.”

The Space Camp Advanced Academy explores college and career preparation through an immersive multidisciplinary curriculum. Participants experience a variety of astronaut training exercises, engineering challenges and team-building activities all culminating in an extended-duration simulated space mission.

Separate from the student experience, Endeavour educators participated in a week of teacher training, including authentic astronaut training simulators and activities developed to promote learning in a classroom setting. Their curriculum included NASA-inspired lesson plans correlated to the National Science Education Standards and featured a presentation by Rocket Boys author and 30-year NASA veteran Homer Hickam.

“The Space Camp experience bonds like-minded space explorers through their training, missions, and team experience,” said Dr. Kimberly Robinson, CEO of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center. “Creating lasting relationships among nations is key to living and working in space and to accomplishing mankind’s next giant leap forward. In that same spirit, the Astronaut Al Worden Endeavour Scholarship heightens connections around the globe to achieve success in space for years to come.”

Prior to their arrival in Huntsville, the Endeavour teams met for the first time in Washington, DC for a tour of the city, including a memorial stop at Worden’s gravesite in Arlington National Cemetery, a personal visit from program supporter Boeing President of Boeing Business Development//Defense, Space, Security & Global Services, Heidi Grant, and visits to the National Air and Space Museum facilities on the Smithsonian Mall and the Stephen F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Dulles, VA.

“In line with Boeing’s commitment to innovate and invest in efforts that build, enhance, and contribute to the communities where our employees live and work, we are proud to support the Endeavour Scholarship program,” said Grant. “In just four years, it has firmly established its value as an ambassador for STEM-driven industries around the world and an active advocate for the future engineering workforce.”

For more information about the Endeavour Scholarship Foundation, or to ‘Join the Mission,’ please visit https://

About the endeavour scholarship foundation

Kallman Worldwide launched the Astronaut Al Worden Endeavour Scholarship in 2019 to honor the Apollo 15 Command Module Pilot, a friend and colleague, for his lifetime commitment to advancing science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education and inspiring the future workforce. Managed by the nonprofit Kallman Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, the program awards scholarships to secondary school-age students and educator chaperones to participate in a week-long, allexpenses-paid, hands-on astronaut training experience at the world-renowned International Space Camp in Huntsville, AL. The growing roster of ‘Endeavour Scholars’ includes students and teachers representing Australia, Bahrain, Chile,

France, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

With Al’s passing in 2020, his NASA colleague, Apollo 16 Lunar Module Pilot, Charlie Duke, assumed the role of program ambassador in July 2022. The program is funded through the generosity of private-sector corporations and individuals who share Worden's and Duke's passion for inspiring young people to work across national boundaries and keep reaching for new horizons. For more information visit

AUSTRALIA IN SPACE Australia in Space Magazine | 51
“Every country we work in — and we’ve worked in at least 50 of them since our company was founded in 1963 — is facing the same challenges to prepare its young people for the future. Many also see that future in space

The QuantumTX Incubator Program


For a decade now, QuantumTX have been a leading provider of accelerator programmes - assisting start-ups turn a novel product into a business that can be commercialised.

A big part of that is where participants showcase their product and business. Partnering with MySecurity Media's Australia in Space, a Brisbane METS & Space Industry Sundowner was recently held at CSIRO’s Queensland Centre for Advanced Technologies. It gave several scale-up companies the chance to pitch their technology to a mix of industry leaders, researchers, entrepreneurs, and enthusiasts.

The event specifically focused on the innovation and commercialisation of advanced autonomous systems with keynote speakers, Dr. Sue Keay, Chair, Robotics Australia Group and Dr. Navinda Kottege SMIEEE, Research Director, Cyber-Physical Systems Research Program (Robotics, Computer Vision and Distributed Sensing Systems) DATA61 | CSIRO.

The event also featured live demonstrations of technology and robotics, showcasing the latest breakthroughs in space exploration and innovation.

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SCAN HERE For more of the latest news and interviews in space sector! or head to
Australian Tech Businesses to New Heights

Accelerating Australian Space and Tech Start-ups:

The QuantumTX Incubator Program



For more of the latest news and interviews in space sector!

The Australian Centre for Robotics at the University of Sydney was the venue host for the latest Space Industry Sundowner from MySecurity Media's 'Australia in Space.'

The sundowners are held throughout the year, all over the country and bring together the Space, AI and Robotic community.

On this occasion, the event was an opportunity for participants from the current QuantumTX Incubator Program to showcase their product and business. The program helps scale-ups and small-to-medium companies accelerate. This will be through specialised mentoring, market engagement, profile raising, staff development, export readiness and international introductions.

The evening’s keynote speakers were Adrian Beer, CEO of METS Ignited Australia LTD and Professor Ian Manchester, Director, Australian Centre for Robotics.

The event also featured live demonstrations of technology and robotics, showcasing the latest breakthroughs in space exploration and innovation.

or head to


54 | Australia in Space Magazine
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